Arisaig May 2019 A bit more by John Fay and Bob Hamilton
Arisaig is about 350 miles from Liverpool and despite having booked a superb cottage with all Mod Cons, for our weeks stay, the original though of getting on the water on our arrival soon paled. Even though it was on the doorstep.
A quick cuppa and a rest followed by emptying the van, was more needed than carrying kayaks over the beach. Our accommodation at Invercaimbe was, we had found, very popular and while trying to get optimum tide times for our week was not possible, that actually gave us no real problems.
Our first few forays around the area where just great fun. The forecast was never for strong winds, but we always seemed to get more than anticipated and it gave us the chance to play close to “home”.
There is a stream right past the farm, which looked to be a good place to put in>>>>>>>>>Errr, not so good as it was very shallow as we tried to paddle downstream Ha Ha.
Anyway a few good sessions in varying conditions where had, including a visit to Arisaig Marina which proved to be a bit of a slog and with no suitable place to get out for a leg stretch. The beach here is most inhospitable with foul smelling mud, boulders and seaweed. A retreat to a crushed coral beach was made on our return for a break and some shelter from the breeze. Some seals found us of interest here.
A favourite area of mine has been Loch Nan Uamh, putting in at an ideal location about ½ mile North of the railway viaduct featured in “Harry Potter” unfortunately we were advised by a local fisherman that the owner of the land had changed hands and that there could be problems if we parked there. We took a chance and all was well, but on our return the new owner arrived and made it clear that the land was private!!!!!
The fisherman that we spoke with advised of two places to visit, on our paddle here, both of which we found. A cave and a Bothy. My mountaineering skills were not up to the final bit of the Bothy visit, but the lads spent some time in there, while Sue and I relaxed on the hillside.
Loch Ailort is another favourite place, although it has had its moments conditions wise. We put in at another well used place that is just a short distance from the fish farms, Inverailort. We would normally go only about 4 miles and return but on this occasion, we went a bit further to an island, Eileen nan Gobhar. Butties and drinks were consumed here and spirits were high. The sea was like a mirror. Roger, Anthony and John were up for paddling right back to home, whereas Sue, Martin and I were going to return to the cars. Sue wanted to follow the lads for short distance and it was really PERFECT conditions. The sort you just don’t get twice. I put it to Sue that we could maybe continue with the lads, which we did.
The tide was on the Ebb and it seemed that we were not making any progress. We were, but in the middle of The Sound of Arisaig it was not obvious. Eventually we reached Luing Mhor and unfortunately it was drying out. A decision was made to carry the kayaks over the sand a short distance. Not a problem???? Except that I tripped on an unseen rock and ended up with a painful shoulder injury.
Not enough to cause major problems??? Off we set through the skerries again only to find conditions changing quite dramatically. Suffice to say any pain from my shoulder was totally forgotten and I was just happy to be making progress.
Sue always amazes me with her ability and confidence, but full marks to Martin for his performance that day.
We reached home without incident, where I kissed the beach Ha Ha.
After getting the kayaks on shore and safe. A Taxi was ordered to retrieve the cars.
Loch Moidart and Castle Tioram was another location paddled. The potential problem here relates to the fact that the area dries right out at low water. I decided that I would go back rather than risk a long carry over the sand. Sue and Martin followed but Roger Anthony and John did a circuit of the bay out to Farquhar’s Point and back to a potential put in on the A861.
On our return by car, we looked at that place and wrote it off. There were two paddlers there and they suggested a better place about ½ mile South East