Sten Angela, Mieke H, Andy G and Pete A. Delayed start by one day, to avoid heavy rain. Sunday saw us drive north with a grim wet forecast. Shuttle sorted to Arduaine.and camped at Bender Loch campsite. An early start found us Port Appin to pack boats.
Day 1 Sunny all day. As soon as wet set off seal came to guide us, looking for leaks apparently! He soon got bored, so passed us onto playful otter who guided us to Castle Stalker. Today’s game- finding Mike’s lost screws in the sand!
On around Shuna island before heading down the west side of Lismore, to a lovely flat grassy campsite in the old 1850’s limestone quarry. 24km
Day 2, Sunny all day. A onshore North-westerly, became a beam sea as we head to the south end of Lismore.
Lunch near the lighthouse as we awaited the tidal flow to dissipate. Not a bad place absorb some rays. Wind 3-4 from NW, perfect saw us cross 6km to Kerrera in just an hour. Tidal flow assisting we now rounded the SW tip, soon stopping for second lunch.
A fine camp site here also, but we could not resist the following wind and set off in a more constant force 4 to Barrnacarry Bay
Such a lovely place to finish a 26km day. The evening found us explore smooth folded slabs, ring rock worm, like woodworm but in rock-The rock being schist, square holes formed by fool’s gold, that had eroded. We spotted orchids, two golden eagles and a 20m ivy clinging to an overhanging cliff face.
Day 3 Sunny all day Bridge over the Atlantic awaited. Angela spotted a giant zebra snake.
The narrowings to the bridge, proved too shallow, so we opted to go west of Seil island, using eddies to minimise the opposing flow. Such at Easdale, such a busy little place, and renew water supplies. Again waited for the tide to turn before heading to Cuan sound where tales of green sea kayaks floating off were recounted. Just south of Cullipool a myriad of small islands. Ah! a beach, by that tree aim for that. Turns out the tree was a rocky knoll 2 km away, and the beach made of fantastic schist skimming stones. A seal watched carefully. More tea. Soon we headed to Luing sound to be sped by the now faster tide. But the wind persisted, from the SW., so progress ever slower, until we reached the south end of Luing. Drizzle started as we pitched tents. 21 km today.
Day 4 no sun! in fact no nothing, the warm front that came though overnight, brought constant light rain and ever direction changing winds. We awoke, to low cloud and 0.5km visibility. The grey dogs would have to wait as the forecast SW wind was coming form the west. Scarba had disappeared in the clag.
NE our direction. Something big in the haze. A sea Eagle.
Compass bearing to follow past another Snuna, Eileen Arsa, to the Jetty at Arduaine, in ever heavier rain.
A shorter trip than we had planned, but so cool to get 4 days paddling with 3 overnight stops. It is the good company, the journey and coping with the ever canning demands that make it more than worthwhile.