Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Isle of Skye - Part 3

DAY 6 - Wednesday 8th September

Morning at the campsite, the sun still low in the sky. I wish I had a view like that every morning.

Portree harbour
24hr forecast...'wind south/south easterly 5 or 6 decreasing to 4 later'. Finally the wind had dropped. A good day and I can't make my mind up where to go. My dad was off back to our original camp site to get up on the Black Cullin Ridge, I was tempted but force 5 or 6 is still fairly strong especially on the south coast.

Stopping off for a pic on the way to Elgol
I decided to go out from Portree. Then my dad said lets go down to Elgol and head on over to Loch Coruisk. I thought if we travel all the way there and it's rough I'm gonna go mad!
Highland Cattle

Road down to Elgol, Island of Rum
The road leading around the lochs and under the mountains was absolutely stunning. Once over the hill the views out to the islands of Rum, Canna and Eigg was also just as beautiful. Another of my intended destinations passing by! The island of Rum, about 6nm from the main land, this one was on the definite list as well. Oh well it will still be there next time.

On arriving at Elgol the view was one of the best I have ever launched from! I set off in my boat while my dad jumped on a 3hr boat trip to the Loch.

Out of the shelter of the harbour the swell came in along with the wind, but with all this coming from behind I made fast progress at 6kts on the back of the waves. The wind was a lot easier to handle today but there was still the occasional down draft coming off the slopes.

I hand railed the coast into Camasunary bay just making out the bothy on the shores. I paddled into the bay slightly before turning diagonally into the wind and swell rather than straight across the bay into a side wind.

Island of Rum disappearing behind the swell

Paddling into Loch na Culice I paddle around the side of mount Sgurr na Stri.

After a very quick hours paddle I spot a few potential white sandy beach's for landing.

Into the inner bay I am greeted by the guardians of the loch, some common and grey seals.

I sat about in the water for a bit hoping for a close encounter but they seemed a bit shy.

I hauled my boat up to the back of the beach, probably a bit to far! I am used to the huge tidal ranges of the Bristol Channel.

I took a short hike up to Loch Coruisk to see if I could find my dad. A dry suite in fairly warm conditions is not recommended for walking any distance!

At Loch Coruisk in the heart of the Cullin Mountains the view was breath taking. I have got to agree with James on this one, how can any man made view beat this! It is simply one of, if not 'the best view in Britain'.

I found myself a nice flat boulder and sat here for half hour or so and had my lunch. No sight of my dad but knowing him he's probably wondered off to take some pics.

Back at the beach I set off again but not without a good bye from the seals.

Instead of following the coastline back I paddle straight out into the open water for Elgol. The oncoming waves made the trip back a little more exciting. There was no wind to worry about now.

I arrived at the slipway a little early so I jumped back in my boat and took a paddle around the corner and had a little play with the waves braking around the shallow reefs and rocks.

Island of Rum

This old steam boat chugged past heading into the loch.

Back at the slipway a couple of other paddlers made there way in, the first I've seen all week.

And finally my dads boat came in, with a huge smile on his face.
Only a 9.2nm trip but today's trip made up for the weeks bad weather. It would have been nice to get out to Soay Island and make a day of it but by the time we got back it was late afternoon. It was back into Portree for fish and chip super and maybe a few beers. Lets hope this weather holds for our last day.

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