Mallaig and District Canoe Club

Mallaig and District Canoe Club - Trips 2016

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10 April - Rescue Day - Glenuig
Paddlers: John Jenkins, Mike Martin, Allan Lindsay, Roger Wild, Kirsty Bloom, Peter Sugden, John Clube, Elvire Feeney, Bill Scott, Tony Laidler. Thanks to Roger for photos.

23 April - Loch Creran

In the face of a bitter northerly wind at the Ganavan launch point, the scheduled club paddle around Kerrera was abandoned without dissent by the party and we decamped to the Puffin Dive Centre at Gallanach to investigate the prospects for a more sheltered paddle. When Ewan and I enquired there, our baulking at the cost of parking and launching went down like a lead balloon and we retreated with flea-filled ears. Plan C was Loch Creran and we were soon parked near the A828 road bridge and launched in sheltered conditions. In leisurely fashion we went around the loch shore, lunching in sunshine near its head at Inver. Back at the bridge, we followed the north shore westwards, crossed to Barcaldine and so back to our launch point. No great distance achieved but an enjoyable and blether-rich paddle was had by all. 13.5km.

Paddlers: Elizabeth and Tony Laidler, Ewan and Andrea Gillespie, Ruth Sime, Bill Scott and Peter Sugden

30 April - Loch Sunart

Nine of us gathered just west of Salen on the Saturday for the Loch Sunart paddle. The weather forecast was for strong winds on the Sunday, so the trip was changed to the Saturday. Interestingly there was a significant difference in high tide between Saturday and Sunday. Saturday - high tide at 11.44, Sunday - high tide at 14.26. Tony said this happens only a couple of times a year in Spring and Autumn. One to look out for!

Although the wind had changed to the south west, it still felt pretty chilly and the late mid week snow showed the Morven and Ardnamurchan hills at their best. We headed across Loch Sunart and paddled along the south side having a late coffee stop at Glencripesdale, then on round the east side of Carna and up Loch Teacuis as far as the narrows where we had lunch in the sun. Our return journey was round the west side of Carna and across to Riska before a lovely wind-assisted paddle back to our starting point. 24.5k

Paddlers: Ruth Sime, Roger Wild, Fiona Wild, Tony Laidler, Elizabeth Laidler, Steve Grindrod, Mal Thomson, Bill Scott, Elvire Feeney. Thanks to Roger for photos.

13 - 15 May - Summer Isles

Friday 13th May

The early arrivals at the excellent campsite at Altandhu abandoned their plans for a short afternoon paddle as it was windier than hoped and opted for a breezy walk/ride to Reiff instead. We found some shelter behind an old stone enclosure beside Loch of Reiff, enjoyed the sun and watched the waves pounding a reef just offshore and were quite happy not to be out in it!

Nausts found: 0 (further investigations needed) Invasive species spotted: 1 (American Skunk Cabbage – thanks for identifying it, Joan!)

Group 1, Saturday

Kirsty's bell tent

Group 2, Saturday

Group 2, Saturday

Group 2 route, Saturday

14 May 2016            Summer Isles - Group 1
Following a planning meeting in the club conference centre (aka Kirsty’s giant bell tent) the 20 members split into groups of 11 and 9. The former group elected to take an initially more inshore Summer Isles route because of the breezy conditions that we could see on Loch an Alltain Dubh from the campsite. Launching from there, we turned into the channel separating Isle Ristol from the mainland and onwards to Tanera Mor, the largest of the island group. Paddling along the east side brought us to Anchorage bay, where the cafe was open to provide sustenance for a boat load of tourists and some of our number took the opportunity to join them.
Continuing in the same direction, we crossed to Horse Island and came ashore for lunch in the channel that separates it from Meall nan Gabhar. Suitably refreshed, we set off on a widdershins circuit of the island. No horses were spotted but there were a few seabirds on the cliffs (shags and fulmar), a whimbrel flew past (presumably taking a rest stop on its northwards migration) and three bonxies flew menacingly overhead. Finally we crossed to the beach at Badenscallie where we had shuttled two cars, although only one of these proved useful as the other driver had left the keys back at the campsite. No names here of course but the culprit did have previous form!
Our very enjoyable day was topped off when we visited the Pipers Centre cafe on our way back. It had just closed but the kind hearted lady there opened up for us and we enjoyed large pieces of cake with our tea and coffee. 15km
Paddlers: Bill Scott, Elvire Feeney, Ewan & Andrea Gillespie, David Webster, Pen Godber, Moira Broadhead, Peter Sugden, Joan Smith, Tony & Elizabeth Laidler

14 May 2016            Summer Isles - Group 2

Group 2 headed off from the campsite through Caolas Eilean Ristol shortly after group 1. Northeasterlies quickly blew us across to Eilean a' Char in the sunshine; Roger made plenty of use of his sail. We headed round the western tip of Tanera Beg through a short patch of clapotis and then back in to calmer seas, stopped to admire the cave with a window on the southwest tip and then landed at Mol Bheag for lunch. 'Mol Bheag' lived up to its name, with some big slippery rocks and a slightly awkward landing, but beautiful views across to the mountains on the mainland.
The afternoon's focus shifted slightly for a while to collecting washed-up buoys for use as rope swings and decorations – some excellent finds were firmly secured to back decks for the paddle home. Our journey continued on to the east side of Tanera Beg, with two paddlers successfully attempting the paddle under the sandstone arch, and then on around Eilean Fada Mor and the southern end of Tanera Mor. After a brief stop to the south of Anchorage Bay for some home baking we paddled across Badentarbat Bay to Badenscallie where one car had been left. Finished up the trip passing around the Kingswoods' hip flask, shuttling cars and enjoying the sunshine and views – a lovely, slightly sunburnt, happy day's paddling.

Paddlers: Cathy Mayne, Ruth Sime, Mike & Sheila Kingswood, Bill & Jill Skeoch, Alan Matthew, Roger Wild, Kirsty Bloom

Back at the campsite we made good use of the warm-as-toast amenity block and the free wifi to ponder again over the forecast. Some folks went to the cosy Fuaran Bar for their tea and we all met there later on for another planning session.

Group 2, Saturday

Sunday meeting

Sunday Group 1

Sunday Group 1

Sunday Group 1

15 May 2016        Summer Isles - Group 1
The day dawned rather breezy and with the prospect of showers, so yesterday’s “inshore” group was reduced in numbers after some paddlers decided to pursue land-based activities. Crossing the exposed bay in front of the campsite, we got shelter in Eilean Ristol channel and then headed for the bay on the northwest shore of Tanera Mor for a break. Setting off in drizzly conditions, we paddled down Caolas a’Mhill Ghairbh and then westwards to the north side of Tanera Beg. Quite a few birds were seen including a pair of Greylag geese with a gaggle of wee goslings in tow. Continuing around the island clockwise we stopped just short of Mol Bheag; conditions were getting a bit lumpy if manageable but didn’t look overly inviting for further progress.
Crossing to Mol Mor on Tanera Mor, the party paddled along the south coast where Alan went ashore to claim a large fishing float and the rest landed at the inlet just east of Rubha Dubh. After our late lunch, we explored the grassy area behind the beach and discovered a small area of burrows, some quite fresh. Too small for rabbits, there was a lively discussion about the identity of the inhabitants. Quite possibly they are rats, which is not good news for birds nesting in the area but confirmation is awaited.
We paddled on to Anchorage Bay where a small cruise ship was anchored and then crossed to the beach just east of Polbain pier where we had shuttled cars, this time all ignition keys were present and correct. 17km
Paddlers:  David Webster, Pen Godber, Alan Mathews, Peter Sugden, Joan Smith, Tony & Elizabeth Laidler

15 May 2016        Summer Isles - Group 2

A drizzly, grey morning with winds shifting to the NW. There wasn't much enthusiasm amongst the remaining Group 2 paddlers for a paddle around Rubha Coigach so we opted for a short paddle up the east side of the point instead, with Moira as shore support walking along the cliffs. The head wind and grey rolling sea calmed down enough for some rockhopping on the return trip, and we finished off with some rescues practice in Achnahaird Bay. Warmed up over lunch in Ruth's cosy van, which was much appreciated. Then it was back to the campsite to take down the big tent, say our goodbyes to the other group, and head for home.

Paddlers: Ruth Sime, Cathy Mayne, Kirsty Bloom

28 May - Kerrera Circumnavigation

The club attempt to circumnavigate Kerrera in April was derailed by adverse weather, so an encouraging forecast prompted another foray. The forecast held and we gathered at Ganavan Bay in balmy conditions. Heading south, we had to pause at Maiden Island while our old friend “Coruisk” (late of the Mallaig-Armadale run) headed out for Mull. The waves from the ship provided some novel relief from the virtually flat calm conditions, a phenomenon that was to be repeated several times during the day: we were regularly passed by boats of all sizes, mainly of the tourist/recreational variety. Making our way down the west side of the island, we landed at Barr-nam-boc bay for coffee/early lunch. The south coast of the island was equally tranquil and we made landfall on a boulder beach at Port a Chaisteil below Gylen Castle. During a leisurely lunch stop we explored the castle: it was well worth the steep walk up. Conservation work by Historic Scotland has resulted in a well preserved monument with interpretation boards and access to the inside; the views to the south are worth the climb alone.

The rest of the paddle up the Sound of Kerrera passed without incident and we returned to Ganavan after a most enjoyable day on the water. 25km.

Paddlers: Kirsty Bloom, Margie Hemingway, Graham Donelly, Iain Donelly, Bill & Jill Skeoch, Elizabeth & Tony Laidler.

11/12 June - Sleat Peninsula

Ten of us met at Isleornsay to paddle round the Sleat. Amazingly the good weather of the past few weeks held out. The timing of the trip was based around the Mallaig -Armadale ferry but because of the current ferry issues, most of us had to wait a while or drive the long way round. The "F" word, frequently in use in Mallaig, came up often on the trip too.

After a quick shuttle to Ord, we were ready and on the water about 11.30. The water was flat and it was warm but a bit overcast. We paddled out past the lighthouse and round to Teangue for first (and only) lunch. The views were beginning to improve as we approached Armadale. One ferry was about to go out and another ready to come in, so we took on the bow wave of the departing ferry rather than waiting. It was the only slightly lumpy water of the trip. On towards the point of Sleat we thought about stopping for second lunch, but by the time we found a suitable spot, we were close to our campsite so we pushed on. A small campfire was already lit for us by some folk from Mallaig who had come over on a rib - very kind of them. There was plenty room for our tents and wood available for the fire. The midges were out in force even close to the fire but we persevered sitting outside by the fire through the midges, then some showers and were rewarded by a light breeze by about 9pm.

The wind which was forecast didn't materialise next day but there was a wee breeze which made breakfast sociable and loading boats pleasant. The views were good to Knoydart, Ardnamurchan, Small Isles and the Cuillins and the Western Isles were visible too. We were on the water at 9am on the dot and round Sleat Point followed by some pleasant rockhopping with the Cuillins and Blaven as a perfect backdrop. At Dalavil, aptly the location of Joan's first date, we stopped and sang Happy Birthday to her. On the water again, we stopped briefly at Eilean Ruaridh, then on to Ord by early afternoon.

Circa 45k, Four otter sightings and two sea eagles
Joan Smith, Roger Lanyon, Elaine and Pete Venters, Peter Sugden, Margie Hemingway, Moira Broadhead, Allan Lindsay, Mal Thomson, Ruth Sime

18 June - Loch Morar

The A paddle scheduled for the 18th June went ahead with a forecast of slight winds and sun.  Three paddlers left from Bun an Loin Bay on Loch Morar and headed up the north shore of the loch into a stiff  headwind with a view to reaching Brinicary for lunch.   Having lunched as planned at Brinicary and explored the old schoolhouse, the trio set off across the loch to Eilean Allmha on the south shore.  They continued along this shore to Lettermorar where they landed to explore the abandoned settlement enclosed by an amazing dry stone wall.  One dwelling, with corrugated roof and walls, gave the paddlers a fascinating insight into life as it must have been for those souls who lived in such a remote place.  On leaving Lettermorar, the paddlers headed back across the loch to the islands at its southern end.  They took a comfort stop at the lagoon on Eilean nam Breac before threading their way through the islands and back across to Bun an Loin Bay.  A lovely paddle of some 15 km.

Paddlers:  Joan Smith, Roger Lanyon and Peter Sugden.     

9/10 July - Dunvegan

The weather forecast made cancellation of the weekend a distinct possibility! However, with fingers crossed, 6 of us met hopefully at Kinloch campsite in Dunvegan.
A beautiful evening was followed by a grey misty morning, with some drizzle and a peaceful sea. The put-in was the easiest ever, all of 10 metres from the vehicles. The wind was going our way too.
We reached the Coral Beach just east of Lampay in no time at all and with scarcely any effort. The gentle surf landing caused no drama, but the potential worsening of the sea state quelled much enthusiasm for extending the trip round the isle of Isay.
And so round the north coast of the headland to Rubha Maol, and missing the friendly push of the early part of the day, we crossed directly to the pier at Stein. [Cathy and Alison headed home from here.]
The meal at the Old School House was good, the forecast weather not so. Winds were to become southerly and stronger, so the plan was to head to the east side and put in from Broadford on Sunday.
With steady rain and low mist over Pabay, resolve dwindled somewhat on reaching Broadford, and the group decision was to head for home.

Paddlers: Cathy Mayne, Alison McLure, Bill Scott, Mal Thomson, Fiona Wild, Roger Wild

Circumnavigation of Morvern 15th-18th July 2016

Planning a four day wild camping trip in the unpredictable Scottish summer is always fraught, and the planned circumnavigation of Morvern from 15th – 18th July proved no exception!  Thursday 14th July was a calm blue sky day, as was Tuesday 19th.  In between was some of the worst July weather in recent times....the sod’s law of kayaking!  One by one those signed up for the trip pulled out in the face of the forecast and in the end just four doughty paddlers embarked on a foreshortened two day paddle from Drimnin on the west coast of Morvern to Kingairloch. 

Day one, Sunday 17th July
Paddling south east from the put in at Drimnin down the sound of Mull in steady rain, the group encountered varied sea conditions, but nothing too  taxing.  Stops were taken at Rhemore, Fiunary and Savary Bay  before the paddlers pulled in to the pier cafe in Lochaline for a well earned cup of tea.  Disappointingly, due to the low cloud,  the group was denied the views of Mull, which on a clear day would have been spectacular.  Leaving Lochaline, the paddlers set off past the ruins of Ardtornish castle and round into the calm waters of Ardtornish Bay guarded by spectacular tree lined cliffs festooned with waterfalls.  The intended camp spot for the night was at Inninmore Bay on the south west corner of the peninsula.  On arriving at the bay, the paddlers were delighted to find the quaint Inninmore Cottage open to visitors.  They decided to pitch tents to sleep in and to prepare and eat dinner in the cottage.  By this time the rain had stopped and the midge were out in force!  A very enjoyable evening was spent in the cottage by the wood fire looking out at otters playing in the bay and a red deer hind which wandered right up to the cottage to have a nosy at its new neighbours.

Day two, Monday 18th July
The next day the paddlers set off on the mirror calm waters of Inninmore bay and rounding Rubha an Ridire, entered  Loch Linnhe with views over to Lismore.  They made good progress up the east coast of Morvern assisted by a light wind and sea running from behind.  Two sea eagles were spotted in the lovely oak forests which cloak the hillsides along this coast.  The group hurried past the forbidding presence of  Glensanda quarry before covering the last few kilometers to the take out at the pretty Kingairloch church.  After the long shuttle back to Drimnin, the paddlers set off for home in bright sunshine under blue skies......the final irony! 
My thanks to Bill, Ruth and Heather for keeping the faith and making the trip despite the rain and dire forecasts!

6 August - Loch Ailort

With an unseasonably deep low pressure hurtling towards the west coast, the likelihood of the A paddle scheduled for the 6th August going ahead was in doubt!  However with the forecast assuring that the winds wouldn’t pick up until late afternoon, it was decided  to bin the original plan of paddling round Rhue Point and down Loch Nan Uamh to the viaduct at Ardnambuth in favour of a one way paddle from Lochailort to Glenuig.  An early start was made by 6 paddlers from the slip way just west of Inverailort, having previously shuttled two cars to Glenuig.  Passing through the narrows by Alisory, the group were met by strong gusts  of wind funnelling down the loch from the west.  However once into the relatively open water of Roshven Bay the gusts died away and the sea took on an eerie calm.  Lunch was taken at a small sandy beach just west of Roshven Farm.  After lunch the rain started to fall in large drops, but still with no wind to speak of.  Having stopped to have a look at Roshven House (nobody landed ...kayakers not welcome!), the group hugged the shore round Rubh a Chairn Mhoir and into Glenuig Bay, catching a glimpse of a mink (could have been a pine martin, but was very dark in colour) on the rocky shore.  After a long carry up to the road, the paddlers repaired to Glenuig Inn for a well earned refreshment!  Thanks to those who braved the forecast and came along for what turned out to be a very enjoyable paddle!

Paddlers:  Joan, Michelle, Bill, Peter, Jane and Alana

19/21 August - TORRIN

During the week running up to the Club’s annual Torrin meet, forecasters were predicting a deep low pressure coming in from the Atlantic and warning campers to decamp and small craft owners to stay off the water!  Sound familiar?  Well surprisingly, on a weekend when many people drowned around Britain’s coastline, the west of Skye wallowed in a puddle of calmness!
Eighteen club members foregathered at Torrin Outdoor Centre on the shores of Loch Slapin under the impressive bulk of Blaven.  Because of the large numbers it was decided to paddle in two groups and various options were discussed. 
On Saturday evening all returned to Torrin to exchange tales of their day’s paddling over tea and cake and later enjoyed a meal contributed to by all present.  This was followed by a slide show featuring adventures in Shetland and St Kilda. After Sunday's paddles everyone said their farewells and went their separate ways

Big thank you to everyone who came along to make the Torrin meet yet again a resounding success!

Saturday - group 1

Once round Harlosh Point the group crossed to Harlosh Island and paddled down the east side in a sea made choppy by the east wind.  On the two and half kilometre crossing to Wiay  they  encountered significant swell, but thankfully lost the choppiness!   Camas na Cille on the west coast of Wiay was the chosen lunch stop.  Here the outgoing tide had exposed large boulders which made for a difficult landing.  However there was plenty of soft seaweed and no barnacles which meant an easy slide into the water after lunch.  Continuing along the coast of Wiay, the group explored the caves and Geodhas for which it is famous.  Tarner Island was the next port of call and the sea had turned glassy calm for the crossing from Wiay.  The proposed landing spot on the south shore of Tarner was blocked by boulders, so the group paddled on up the east side of the island and managed to find a landing spot on the rocky shore.  Rounding the northern tip of Tarner Island the paddlers found themselves faced with a brisk north westerly breeze which was in their faces until they landed  back at Camas Ban.  Total distance paddled 18km Paddlers: Graham and Jane, Moira, Margie, Joan, Elizabeth and Tony, Peter, Christine

Saturday - group 2

8 of us made the long, sheep-and-tourist-ridden drive past the now-far-too-famous Fairy Pools to Glen Brittle beach, which was thankfully quiet and am easy put-in.  The colours were sharp and vivid under the blue skies and t-shirts were the order of the day – heaven.  Following the south coast of Loch Brittle we soon reached the rocky shore below Loch na h-Airde and, having lodged our boats, set off to explore Rubh’ an Dunain and the Viking Canal.  It was not long before we came upon a girl and her dog at the very well preserved chambered cairn, which we had missed on our previous visit. Being a couple of days past Springs and not long off high water the river was full and sparkling and we took our time admiring the stonework of the Dun and the panoramic views in all directions.  Back at the boats, which now were perched high and dry at rakish angles, we sat down to a leisurely and sun-drenched lunch by the sea before negotiating our way back to the water.  Crossing the mouth of the loch we headed north up the pretty stretch of coast as far as Stac an Tuill then turned homewards, being treated to various eagle antics above and on the cliff top.  Back in the bay we were enjoying being gently pushed homewards, some of us spotting a lone porpoise, when out of the blue the wind shifted 180° and we had to exert some effort to get back to the beach, which was now very extensive and involved many long walks and a river crossing.  19kms.
Paddlers: Ewan and Andrea, Jill, Kirsty, Peter and Elaine, Mike and Sheila

Sunday - group 1

Although the winds were light as promised, especially later in the day, the sun refused to put in an appearance and low cloud clung to the Cuillins allowing only the odd tantalising glimpse of the peaks above the cloud. Leaving Elgol, the group paddled the six kilometres to Soay in windier conditions than they were expecting.  Heading anticlockwise round the island past Clachain Uaine, the sea state improved and the group soon headed in to the sheltered waters of Soay Harbour and past the remains of the shark station.  At this point the options were to climb to the trig point and paddle back the way they had come, or to paddle on round the island....the slightly longer option.  In the event, the decision was taken to carry on round and see what the conditions were like on the more exposed west side of the island.  Fears of deteriorating conditions were unfounded and the group paddled round and into Camas nan Gall on flat water. Many “sills” (tabular sheet intrusions) were sighted along this coast.  A surprising number of well maintained houses skirted the shores of Camas nan Gall, but no sign of life, except the throb of a generator.  Refreshed and well fed the paddlers set off for the last crossing back to Elgol.  Distance paddled approx 24km. Paddlers: Graham and Jane, Moira, Margie, Joan, Mal, Peter, Christine.

Sunday - group 2

After a bit of a clean-up, 8 of us set off for Heasta – a quietly bucolic drive compared to the madness of the rest of Skye.  Excited by the forecast of force 1 and blue skies, we were disappointed by cloud, mist, midges and maybe a force 2. Optimistic that it would clear we set off from the once again straightforward put-in, across to the south side of Loch Eishort.  The views north towards Loch Slapin and the Cuillin ridge were bright, with a low band of cloud below the summits.  A pleasant paddle through the islands took us past Ord and the ruins of Dunscaith castle on the promontory, then in to the bay at Tokavaig, where we pulled up for lunch. The afternoon was a search for the fossil beach on the north shore that some of us had visited a few years previously.  Although we did find the waterfall and the beach, one of us wasn’t convinced so we didn’t linger, apart from to surgically remove and repatriate a limpet that had been travelling with Mike on his boat for the past 3 days!  A possibly even more arduous carry that yesterday, up the beach at Heasta ensued and made sure we were all ready for refreshment at CafeSia in Broadford en route to going our separate ways.  18kms.
Paddlers:  Jill, Kirsty, Peter and Elaine, Tony and Elizabeth, Mike and Sheila

27 August - Locheil - Moidart

A group of 12 paddlers met up to do what's arguably the most interesting section of the classic Glenfinnan to Loch Ailort paddle.  We set off from the good put-in at Dalilea - a small pebbly beach beside the slipway - after shuttling all the cars but one away, as there's limited parking.  The skies were overcast but it was dry and the winds were light making for an easy paddle along Loch Shiel.  Two sea eagles were spotted along the way!  

First lunch was a grassy spot just outside Acharacle and we then drifted on down the river (receiving a superfluous warning on the way from someone on the bank about the fishermen who'd 'paid £1000 a week to fish' ..)  Some of us stopped to play in the eddies and practice breaking in/out around the second bridge and to explore the cut through the left bank. Then on quietly down a very serene river with not many fishermen in evidence.

We pulled up just before the mouth of the river and Tony and Mike went ahead on foot/by boat to scout out the small drop in to Loch Moidart.  The assessment was that it was perfectly manageable - a small rapid with no exposed rocks - so everyone went ahead one at a time for a wee thrill with a lot of laughter! 

Second lunch was at Tioram in the company of plenty of midges and we finished up at the old jetty on the north side of Loch Moidart.  A relaxing and fun paddle of a different kind to our usual outings on the sea! 16kms.

Note for anyone planning this trip in future.  We were at the mouth of the river within 30 mins of HW and it was neaps - HW was 3.6m.  Although it wasn't a problem getting over this section it seems reasonable to assume that to avoid any kind of drop at all into Loch Moidart a HW of over 4.0m is necessary. (On the Loch Shiel to Loch Ailort paddle in Sept 2015, HW was 4.8m, and the exit from the river to the sea was completely unnoticeable.)

Paddlers: Jane, Bill, Elvire, Tony, Elizabeth, Mike, Sheila, Peter S, Iain, Jo, Chris C, Kirsty.

8/9 October - Priest Island


Paddlers: Roger, Joan, Kirsty, Mal, Mike

22 October - Eilean Shona paddle and walk

Six paddlers met at the old stone slip at Kinlochmoidart for the last club paddle of the year.  This was the paddle to, and walk round Eilean Shona in Loch Moidart which had been postponed from 10th of September.  Making the most of the continuing spell of good weather, the group set off on calm waters under overcast skies, but with the promise of sun later in the day.  They continued up the North Channel against the incoming tide, across the flooded ford which leads to Shona Beag and landed at Baramore where the North Channel meets the sea.  Donning hiking boots and hefting rucksacks the group set off along the muddy track to walk clockwise round the island.  They soon came to Shepherd’s Cottage where they met John who gave them detailed instructions of how to find the path after leaving the village.   After passing through the village, talking to some more residents and having a look round the quaint village hall, the group found the path as instructed and after a few false starts found themselves walking upwards through a forest of felled trees and out onto the hillside above the South Channel.  The path was well defined and marked with posts which showed signs of having been burned in a recent hill fire.  Above Bailetonach the path forked right and rose steeply up the valley.

By this time the sun was out and the group took lunch with beautiful views out across the South Channel and beyond to Ardtoe and Kentra.  After the steep descent to Baramore the group swapped hiking for paddling gear and set off for Glenuig passing between Eilean Coille and An Glas-eilean before heading for Smirisary.   They rounded  Rubha Ghead a’ Leighe and passed Samalaman Island  with views of light and shade over Ardnish and the Roshven hills before landing at Glenuig pier.  A very enjoyable day!

Paddlers: Mike and Sheila Kingswood, Bill Scott, Elvire Feeney, Peter Sugden and Joan Smith