Tuesday 19 June 2012

Rockhopper's Paradise

 With a day to spare before starting work on the Summer Isles I decided on an exploratory paddle around the Rubha Na Coigich peninsula.
In his book, Doug Cooper describes an old wooden slipway near the beach at Achnahaird. What I found, with just three planks remaining, wasn't much of a slipway but made an easy launch.

 I set off following the rocky coastline in glorious sunshine, but then it's always sunny on the west coast, isn't it?

Scenary was spectacular, so I took the obligatory photos of rocks with holes in.

And spiky rocks.

And kamikazee sheep.

And more holes.

For my first lunch break I chose a sheltered rocky cove...

...with a fantastic view of the mountains of Assynt.

Lunch part two followed an exciting blast of following sea, created by the northerly force 3-4. I stopped on a beach at Reiff for a leisurely meal.

After lunch I returned the way I had come, now paddling into the wind. Climbers were making the most of dry sunny conditions and perfect rock.

As I neared the end of my journey my yellow paddle waggon stood out like a beacon, making it impossible to miss the small slipway.

I then discovered the best use of a 'No Overnight Parking' sign. Needless to say I ignored its intended message.

This old winch presumably dates back to when the slipway was in better condition.

This is where I went. Total of 26 km paddled.

Sunday 17 June 2012

Lismore and more

29th May was an uninspiring grey day. The sea was grey, the sky was grey, even the wind couldn't be bothered to blow. I set off from a small beach just north of Oban with the plan to paddle round Lismore Island.

 I reached Pladda after a flat 5km. By now I was warming up and cruising along at a respectable 8km/hr.

 Approaching the north end of the island and still hardly a breath of wind. Perfect paddling conditions.

 The small passenger ferry crosses from here to Port Appin on the mainland.

 This little bay looks a lot more peacefull in the picture than reality. It's full of fish farm activity but perhaps the old of limekilns are a relic of a more industrial past. I stopped here for a well earned lunch break before pressing on down the east side of the island into an increasing headwind.

Castle Coeffin, just a ruin now but I can't help wondering why the area has so many castles. Dunollie castle is close to where I set out, Tirefour castle is on the east side of Lismore and Achadun castle is further south on the west coast.

 A small cave was just too inviting to paddle straight past. This one was complete with spectacular stalactites.

Finally rounding Rubha Fiart at the southern most point of Lismore there was a welcome tide race.
All that remained was to cover the last 8km back to Camus Ban where I started.

This wasn't the most inspiring coastline I have paddled along but it is aways satisfying to paddle around something and complete the circle. Total of 43 km padddled.