Monday, 13 September 2010


3/4/5 September 2010
This trip found us heading to paddle the waters around Seil Island, just south of Oban. The weather forecast at the beginning of the week looked promising. However, as the weekend arrived the forecast deteriorated: increasing S/E winds and rain. No matter what the weather would throw at us, it’s always a privilege to paddle the waters around this magnificent area of Scotland. This area always offers some sheltered areas to paddle. The group would be made up of four : Steve, David, Jim and myself. After meeting at Oban we headed down to Easdale to camp, and we would launch the following morning. Steve and David looked forward to their first sea kayak/camping experience. Plans were made and if the weather held we would circumnavigate Seil Island at a leisurely pace.
Launching at Easdale.
The weather was perfect we left Easdale behind and paddled north up the Sound of Insh following the west coast of Seil Island. After reaching Rubha Garbh Airde we paddled east towards the yacht anchorage near the skerries at Eilean Buidhe where we had launch. An enjoyable lunch was enhanced by watching the seals swimming and hunting around the skerries.
Lunch with Steve, myself and David.
David getting ready for the water.
After lunch we paddled to the north tip of Seil before heading south, down the narrow channel of Clachan Sound which separates the island from the mainland. As we approached Clachan Bridge (Bridge over the Atlantic) the freshening wind was channelled against us. The bar/pub at Clachan Bridge is known as Tigh an Truish Inn, ‘The House of Trousers’. So named because when the kilt was banned during the Jacobite rebellion, soldiers would change to trousers before heading over to the mainland and change back into their kilts on their way home. As we paddled into Seil Sound the wind increased and the rain came on and it was time to look for a suitable site to camp. We found a small bay just passed Balvicar Bay that gave us some shelter from the wind. Soon the tents were up, we were fed and dry and warm. Luckily the rain stopped and some of the evening was spent round a campfire. Jim as ever kept us amused with endless stories about sea kayaking. Most of them true!!!! Sorry all of them true!!!! Everyone slept well that night.
Our final day on the water was enjoyable as the weather was fine. We headed through Cuan Sound push on by the floodtide and following breeze.
Steve, Jim and David. Otherwise known as (in no particular order) the good the bad and the ugly.
David enjoying his time on the water.
Heading back to Easdale
Soon the trip was over. It had been another great trip: a wonderful environment and greay company.
Easdale Island
As well sea kayaking around this area I have also visited Seil Island and Easdale Island many times with my wife Jayne and my son Stewart when on holiday. Easdale Island is a magical place given the right weather. It has it’s own unique history and atmosphere. Easdale Island has had a colourful history. From the middle of the 17th century to the early 20th century it was an important centre for slate quarrying. The Island had as many as seven working quarries, some of which extended down to 300 feet below sea level. Together with other quarries on the neighbouring islands of Seil, Luing and Belnahua the Island gave its name to the famous Easdale Slate which was exported to Glasgow, Ireland and beyond. At the peak of the industry in the second half of the 19th century the population was in excess of 500. A storm in 1881 flooded the quarries, and thereafter the industry declined until the last slate was cut in the 1950's.
Hope you enjoy some pictures of Easdale Island.
The ferry from Easdale on Seil Island bringing visitors to Eadale Island.

Hope you enjoyed.