Friday, 5 June 2009

More pictures of Mull trip

Mull, May 2008

Beauty and the Beast
You'll have to decide for yourself which one is which.

I spent four days on Mull with Dave and Helen, who paddle the feathercraft double. Conditions were amazing. On day one we paddled round Iona and found caves along the west coast.

Day two took us to the fossil tree on Ardmeanach.
Day three was a rest day for Helen and Dave. I set off for Staffa and the Treshnish Isles by myself. The day started beautifully calm as I left the Sound of Iona. Approaching Staffa small wavelets were forming and by the time I had had my lunch on Lunga the seas were picking up. The return journey was in a following sea and I managed no notch up a boat speed of 20km/hr on an enormous surf wave. This was one of my first solo paddling trips and a very memorable experience.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Just another day in the office

May 2008, Southern shore of Iona.
I was having an easy day just pottering about, picking my way between tiny islets and skerries when I saw a dark triangle sliding slowly across the water. I approached slowly until I could identify a basking shark gracefully moving across and back, mouth agape. I had never seen one before. Conditions were millpond smooth and the sea was full of tiny jelly-like creatures. I could scoop them up by the handfull. The shark was filtering them out by the million. I sat and watched wondering just how long this could continue for. In the end it was me that gave up first and after half an hour of shark watching I reluctantly left it to it's feast. At times it had passed within touching distance of my cockpit. I was in awe of its economy of movement, swimming with barely a flicker of it's tail.
This shark was about fifteen feet long, just a baby really. Mature sharks can reach up to twenty five feet in length.