2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles Day 08

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles

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Day 08 Sunday Ardmair Point to pebble beach on Carn Nan Sgeir (island). Keith Steer

After all enjoying the evening meal arranged by Roger and Catriona most of us were up early in the morning and busy packing our boats for the second week. Around 9:00am and Ian, Catriona and Dave headed off for the car shuttle to leave a vehicle at our two finish points. Catriona could only stay for another 2 days. Frankie, Andy and I enjoyed numerous coffee`s and second breakfasts on the steep shingle point opposite Admair Campsite.

We set off just before midday and headed out past the Isle of Martin and before long saw the same wind turbine that we had spotted on numerous occasions on the first day. After a couple of hours of paddle in saw Carn na Sgeir, a small island with a pebble tombolo (spit) between the two islands. We landed and enjoyed a late lunch and brew on the beach. It really was a stunning place with views all around the Summer Isles.

After some discussion and consultation with the tide tables (we were on neaps) this spot proved too good an opportunity given the long shuttles and idyllic location to pass up. We decided to stay the night, having vowed never to bypass a 5-star campsite. We put up our six tends on the flat top of the pebble beach – we had great views over the water to the West and East. It did not take long to explore the small island and chatted and drank coffee until it was time to cook our evening meal. We all slept soundly that night.

On our return we discovered that the next island over, Càrn Deas, was up for sale – £50,000 would secure its purchase. A little larger than our island but very similar. Part of the Daily Mail article is précised below.

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Tiny 22-acre island in Scotland’s ‘Summer Isles’ goes on sale for bargain price of £50,000 (but good luck building anything on it)

  • The uninhabited Isle of Càrn Deas measures 295 yards at its widest points and 530 yards at its longest 
  • It lies four miles off Ullapool’s coast in the north-west of Scotland and is a popular area for sailing and fishing
  • Biggest building which can be erected would be a ‘small cabin’ — which would require planning permission 

A tiny 22-acre island in Scotland’s ‘Summer Isles’ has been put up for sale for the bargain price of £50,000. The uninhabited Isle of Càrn Deas measures just 295 yards (270 metres) at its widest points and 530 yards (485 metres) at its longest.

It lies four miles (6.4 kilometres) off Ullapool’s coast in the north-west of Scotland and is a popular area for sailing, wildlife and sea fishing. But developers planning to make the island more habitable may run into trouble, with the land and forestry group selling it suggesting the biggest building that can be erected on the land would be a ‘small cabin’ — and even that would require planning permission.

The island (pictured centre) measures just295 yards (270 metres) at its widest points and 530 yards (485 metres) at its longest
Prospective owners can reach the island via a 25-minute boat journey from nearby Badentarbat Pier, near Achiltibuie village, or Old Dornie Harbour. The village has a shop, post office, well-known hotel, restaurant and a primary school. Càrn Deas has a dramatic coastline with cliffs, coves, and a shingle beach and is surrounded by crystal clear waters home to a range of fish and wildlife. The Summer Isles gained their name because they were where the local crofters used to transport their sheep for the summer grazing.

Goldcrest Land and Forestry Group said: ‘Scotland’s west coast, and in particular the scenic waters around the Summer Isles, is renowned for the quality of its sailing and water sports.

‘The long summer days and the warm current of the Gulf Stream ensure Càrn Deas’ seawaters are a rich feeding ground for seabird and aquatic life. ‘There is plenty to be caught by anglers of all abilities, both from the rocks and further afield, where mackerel, cod, pollock, coalfish and ling can be found. ‘There are also lobsters, crabs and langoustines off the coast. Porpoises, dolphins, whales, basking sharks and otters are seen in the waters around the Summer Isles. Its deep, clear waters provide ideal conditions for diving and snorkelling.’

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To see more pages from the whole trip go to the Major trips and Expedition reports tab on the club website or click here…….

LCC trip Benllech to Bull Bay Sunday 19th September by Ian O’Connor

LCC trip Benllech to Bull Bay Sunday 19th September by Ian O’Connor

After a 5.30am alarm I was on the road at 6.00am heading to Benllech, Anglesey, to meet the rest of the 11 strong group for a paddle that Brian had kindly and meticulously arranged. On the car radio, the morning news toldA picture containing website

Description automatically generated me that the four SpaceX “amateur” Astronauts had safely returned to Earth late on Saturday night and all was well. The Mission Director had described this as the new Space Age – four space tourists orbiting Earth 15 times per day at 360 zero gravity miles above its surface. It had cost them £145m for the pleasure. By comparison, our plan was to “orbit” 20km of Anglesey from Benllech to Bull Bay. We’d made our own butties and managed to avoid the newly hiked Anglesey car park charges! Like any well executed mission, we A person in a kayak

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceall arrived on time at Benllech (08.30am), unloaded the boats and made a perfect shuttle, dropping the majority of cars at Bull Bay. It was raining at this point, but the forecast for the rest of the day was good with only light winds. As planned, we were on the water by 10.00am and Brian had split us into two groups. Brian led one group and Kris the other. Brian made radio contact with Mission Control at Anglesey Coastguard to let them know our plan. During the discussion the Coastguard asked if we were going to do any exercises and Brian said we might do some towing practice. They would turn out to be prophetic words. However, it was briefing done, Coastguard informed – All Systems Go!

From Benllech we headed north in perfect conditions. I was in Brian’s group, and we hugged the coastline, admiring the rock formations and enjoying the varied birdlife. I am no ornithologist, but I know a Cormorant when I see one and there were a few drying their wings sat on the rocks above us. There was the odd seal too. As we headed towards Moelfre, Kris took his group around Ynys Moelfre before making their way around the headland and stopping for our first A group of people sitting on rocks by the water

Description automatically generated with low confidence break on Rocks Beach. We stayed closer to the cliffs and checked out the lifeboat station before catching up with the other group for second breakfast/elevenses. We were orbiting the island at around 5-6km per hour at this point. Rocks Beach was aptly named as it was covered in those little pebble towers/cairns that people build by carefully placing and balancing them on top of each other. There was none of that dehydrated spaceman food consumed, it was all homemade butties, flasks and the odd Aldi adventure bar.

From Rocks Beach we continued north past LLygwy Beach and into Dulas Bay. We decided to stop again for lunch on another rocky beach with Ynys Dulas directly in front of us about 1km offshore. The tide was continuing to ebb so we decided to get back on the water and tackle what was going to be the longest stretch of the journey. Hugging the coastline again we headed toward Point Lynas but before getting there, we took a few minutes to investigate a cave and pose for the obligatory photos. As we approached Point Lynas we could see the tide race. The wind picked up as we headed round the Point, but Brian expertly guided us through the waves and to some sheltered water under the cliffs where we waited for Kris’s group to join us. It was about halfway between Point Lynas and Amlwch that things became a bit more interesting. I’ll spare you the details, but I ended up on the end of Brian’s tow line and after a short time, somehow or other (it was my fault) I ended up having a similar experience as the space tourists I People in kayaks on the water

Description automatically generated with low confidence mentioned earlier. For a few seconds it was like being in Space – floating, weightless, upside down and needing air!  After a quick wet exit and Brian’s expert rescue, I was back in the boat and back on the towline. With a bit of composure regained I was off the towline and limping into Amlwch harbour.

It was a brief stop at Amlwch before heading back out for the final leg of the journey to Bull Bay.  Eleven LCC Aquanauts left Benllech and they all came home safely, although one (me) had dented pride and several lessons to learn. We enjoyed a pint and a chat in the pub back at Benllech. I’ve waffled on long enough now, but you need to know that there was a second incident on the final leg of the journey. It’s safe to say that because of the skills, knowledge, experience and teamwork of people like Brian, Kris and Keith, there was no need to radio Mission Control and utter those immortal words “Holyhead, we’ve had a problem.”

Aquanauts – Brian Green, Kris D’Aout, Roger Colman, Mark Pawley, Neil Mack, Mike Bailey, Lee Pimlett, Adya Misra, Andy Trowler, Keith Steer, Ian O’Connor

Kris D’Aout track of the route……….

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2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles Day 07

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles

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Description automatically generatedDay 07 Saturday Glencoul bothy To Kylesku slipway by Alan Peachment

The last day; otherwise known as, the day on which everyone was on the water before Keith had started to load is boat.

The last day proved the rule that there are twice as many midges in the morning as there are in the evening. They definitely know that you are in your tent and wait by the entrance for you to emerge and then descend en-masse. There were so many that our clothes shimmered as the light caught their wings.

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The final camp site on week 1 – looking idyllic before the midges appeared.

Because of the number of midges, nobody was bothered about loitering on the beach to have breakfast. It was a case of de-camping as quickly as possible to get on the water and then eat breakfast sufficiently far offshore not to be bothered by the midges.

Maybe it was because it was the last day and the desire for a lay-in, or maybe it was the midges. Whatever it was, Keith didn’t emerge from his tent until all but two of the team were on the water; with everyone on the water before he moved his boat. For those of you who know Keith, this is almost un-heard of. He always, almost without fail, is the first on the water. I am not saying that this was a factor in how quickly everyone got going on this day but…..

The plan was to paddle to the end of the loch and see a magnificent waterfall which cascaded down the side of the mountain. Unfortunately, due to combination of low cloud and the fact that the waterfall didn’t actually cascade into the loch, there was very little to be seen. Still, it was better than a straight paddle to simply paddling to our endpoint at Kylesku.

The paddle to Kylesku was straight forward with good sea conditions.

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The view from the beach at the final camp site on week 1.

Having loaded our boats onto the cars which we had shuttled earlier in the week, we then set off back to Ullapool. The ones who need to wait at Kylesku had to slum it in the local hotel eating, what is by all accounts, an excellent cooked breakfast. Some of compensated for missing out on the breakfast by diverting to Lockinver to pay a visit to the pie shop.

Once back in Ullapool it was a case of either setting off back South for the 500-mile journey or convalescing in Ullapool ahead of the second week of paddling.

Some final observations:

  • We had awesome weather.
  • The paddling in this part of the world is fantastic.
  • You can’t beat paddling with a group on a long journey.
  • Wild camping has to be experienced.
  • Keith has a habit of operating in ‘parent mode’ – “we are nearly there”, “it is just around the corner”. And the best, “there was definitely a beach here on Google Earth!”.
  • There is nothing quite like a pie from Lochinver after a long morning’s paddle.
  • There are one or two midges in Scotland.
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X24_view_from_side1World War II’s X men, crews of the dangerous X class midget submarines. These crews trained in the lochs near Kylesku

X24 on display at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum (Photo right)

The anniversary of the 1943 mission of raiding a German battleship using small and dangerous X class midget submarine or X-craft is being marked. The raid was one of several heroic attempts against the Germans. Kylesku is a small remote fishing settlement in Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands. On the north side of the Kylesku Bridge, a cairn was erected in 1993 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bold and daring feat of the XIIth Submarine Flotilla, a unit of X-craft.

A recognition drawing of Tirpitz prepared by the US Navy (Photo below)

Tirpitz-2 At the nearby Loch Cairnbaun, North West Scotland, the submariners of flotilla trained in using the 52 feet long X-class submarines armed with explosive charges. They were preparing to launch an attack against the German battleship Tirpitz, which was the second among the two Bismarck-class battleships, the largest the German navy had. Tirpitz was protected by anti-torpedo and submarine nets in Norway’s Alten Fjord and posed a great threat to the allied force supplying Russia with weapons and ammunitions. The presence of Tirpitz engaged warships of Britain’s Royal Navy which were badly needed in other warzones, especially in the North Atlantic.

Source https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/world-war-iis-men-crews-dangerous-class-midget-submarines.html

To see more pages from the whole trip go to the Major trips and Expedition reports tab on the club website or click here…….

Paddler of the Year Awards – the nominees.

Please give your consideration to the nominations for the club Awards below and vote by email to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk.

Every membership email address has one vote for each of the categories (paddler of the year / Junior Paddler of the Year and Volunteer of the Year). Family memberships have two votes (Parents x 2 or Parent and a junior family member)

Please click here to view this year’s nominations and details……….

Each year the club asks for nominations for our four Club Awards.

Members can NOW vote for each category by sending an email to website@liverpoolcanoeclub.co.uk with their vote for each Category.

Awards are then presented at the club’s AGM on Monday 18th October 2021

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles Day 06

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles

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Description automatically generatedDay 06 Friday loch na mols (small bay) To beach next to Glencoul bothy by Roger Morgan

“My alarm went off at 6, which I duly ignored, again. Thankfully it was another day of gorgeous sunshine, marred only by the squadrons of midges flying in tight aerial formation outside the almost fully zipped flysheet; whilst they were waiting for me for breakfast, I munched whatever cereal bar I could find, to make me more nutritious and give me (and them?) energy.

By now we were all slick with packing our tents sleeping bags etc., moving boats to the water’s edge, loading, swatting midges, going back for more gear, moving another boat, swatting more midges, the A group of people in kayaks on a body of water

Description automatically generated with medium confidence latter being a continual theme, where do they all come from, and get so much energy (ah!). Promptly on the water by 8, timed so that we could safely pass underneath Kylesku Bridge, where if you get it wrong your battling against 3knots of tide. Leaving our campsite at the small Loch na Mola we all started the gentle paddle eastwards up Loch a` Chairn Bhain. There was hardly any wind, it was a beautiful day to be out on the water. We gently paddled up the loch, passing under the impressive Kylesku bridge and the old slipways where the ferry used to land until the bridges opening in 1984 apparently. We landed on the n slipway where Keith thankfully boiled water for anyone that needed it, and we had elevenses, at about 9.30. (Note to self, STOP packing your cooker away where you can’t find it, duh!)

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Description automatically generated Our objectives were to paddle to the head of Loch Glendhu, then Loch Glencoul both had bothies run by the Mountain bothies association (see their website for more info) remote huts or houses which offered (usually) a decent roof and sleeping area where you can spend the night sheltered from the elements. With Covid, there was uncertainty whether they would be open. Passing the low-lying buoys holding the fish farm nets in place we noticed at first what we thought was a boisterous dolphin or porpoise jumping out of the water, upon closer inspection it turned out to be a seal, practising it high jump, to get into the fish farms for its ready meal of corralled fish. Never seen this before, wise seal.

Glendhu bothy was open, it had two main downstairs rooms, and two upstairs, it would have been a comfortable albeit basic place to stay, but you would have out of the elements. Nearby was another house, locked with a lot of bunkbeds in, and two ponies in a field behind, for A picture containing mountain, outdoor, grass, sky

Description automatically generated carrying felled deer from hunting parties from the nearby estate. After second elevenses, a baste in the sun, or maybe it was dinner, we moved on to paddle around to loch Glencoul, and again another bothy. Easy paddling, minimal winds and tide, mountainous scenery all around, good company, both human and midge like (on the shore), what more could you ask for.

Moving down loch Glencoul in the far distance you could see the Eas a`Chual Aluinn waterfall, Britain’s highest, with a drop of 200metres, that would be tomorrows highlight, in the meantime we landed at Glencoul bothy, again open, with one hiker staying. He however quickly packed and went up the mountain once he saw that we were planning to stay the night, albeit camping on the foreshore around the old walls and farm buildings. Most of us started cooking by our tents, providing food for ourselves and our guests (yep, midges!!), but quickly reconvened in turn (to avoid breaking MBA bothy use rules ((Covid 19!!), in the bothy to make our food, making our way back to the tents and sleeping bags following, or watching the sunset.

This whole area is fascinating from a geological point of view (Scotland’s first Geopark, an area of significant geological interest) an area of early settlement at the dawn of man (and midge) kind, and more recently in WW2 a site where the midget submariners trained before going to do their thing in Norway or wherever.”

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To see more pages from the whole trip go to the Major trips and Expedition reports tab on the club website or click here…….

One-way trip from Soldier’s Point to Porth Dafarch with Liverpool Canoe Club By Julian Trigg

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Description automatically generatedA One-way trip from Soldier’s Point to Porth Dafarch with Liverpool Canoe Club

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Soldier’s point access improved since my last visit, the Skerries visible in the background.

Enroute to North Stack, deceptively calm

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North Stack tide race ahead; it was quite confused inshore

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Parliament Cave, staying well away due to Seal Pupping time of year

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Approaching South Stack


Rounding the first time


And the second time


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Lunch stop at Porth Ruffydd

Heading on to Porth Dafarch

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The final cave, well hardly a cave, more a narrow fissure in the rock. They went in one by one, paddles on decks, hand propulsion against the sides and disappeared. I’d already had one altercation with a rock and decided to stay outside ‘on duty’ having done enough damage for one day. Eventually they all came out backwards, obviously no room to turn around inside.

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An excellent paddle with LCC members – thanks for the company, arrangements and car shuttle !

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles Day 05

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles

Day 05 Thursday Oldany Island camp at Cnoc a Mhoil Bhain to loch na mols (small bay) by Mark Benson

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Overnight winds had lessened when we awoke to a calmer day. However, the light breeze was still enough to keep the midges at bay (hurrah!).

Catriona led us off, heading east along the south coast of Eddrachillis Bay. Initially we threaded between and around a number of small islands, meeting several seals along the way. We continued along the coast, passing in and out of the small A picture containing sky, grass, outdoor, cloudy

Description automatically generated lochs. Loch Nedd and Loch Ardbhair gave sheltered diversions and a chance for a rest. We entered Loch Ardbhair against a mild tidal flow of the outgoing tide. Some ferry glided to the far side and worked the eddies in the narrows.

Finally, we continued around the last section of coast to reach Keith’s “5 star” target beach in Loch na Mola. We weren’t disappointed, though the picturesque hinterland of Lochan na Dubh Leithi threatened mosquitoes to add to the inevitable midges.

The grassy camping area was not sufficient for all of us, and some camped on the shingle beach, the guy lines of their geodesic tents secured with rocks. The continuing breeze gave us time to relax and enjoy dinner but as it dropped away, so the midges emerged and some of us retreated to our tents.

Frankie observed that the setting sun would make for some good photos; alerted by this, I enjoyed watching the sun set into the sea. As evening drew on the wind began to build up again. We were in for a very noisy night, wondering if our tents would hold. However, it was mainly “sound and fury”, everyone’s tent was still in place by morning and the wind doubtless lessened the presence of our winged tormentors.

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To see more pages from the whole trip go to the Major trips and Expedition reports tab on the club website or click here…….

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles Day 04

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles

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Description automatically generatedDay 04 Wednesday Port Allan na Bradhan to Oldany Island camp at Cnoc a Mhoil Bhain via the point of Stoer and old man by Debbie Hughes

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Description automatically generated Setting off from Port Allan na Bradhan it was quite overcast but good paddling conditions again. As we left Achmelvich Bay we could see Stoer Head Lighthouse in the distance. It had been visible for several days, far, far away but today was the day we would actually reach it. The tidal planning committee had to be spot on today with tidal direction and timing to get us round Stoer Head and Point of Stoer, the crux of today’s paddle.

The first point of interest was the split rock near Clachtoll…A’Chlach Thuill in Gaelic, created by the slippage of a massive section of rock down the Torridonian sandstone base – spectacular seen from the sea.

We continued on across small Clachtoll Bay’s sandy beaches where we think we saw the black rib belonging to the guy we met at Lochinver pie shop who had directed us to the previous night’s excellent tucked away campsite. Next across the bigger Bay of Stoer and then about four and a half kilometres further on to Geodh Gainmhich, and a tiny beach where we stopped to refuel before tackling the committing part of our day’s paddle. Keith shouting “don’t get swept round the point” made us all A picture containing outdoor, sky, water, nature

Description automatically generated concentrate on staying close in to reach the landing point. It felt like a very remote spot, but the road was only a short distance from the top of the cliff.

Back on the water after second breakfast we were out and round the point with the lighthouse high above us in no time. The water was gently bouncy for the next section up towards the Old Man of Stoer, with dramatic cliffs all the way along until the spectacular 60m high sea stack appeared…no one climbing there today but a popular challenge with climbers. Keith organised a group photo right in front of it which took some manoeuvring to get us all in position.

There were lots of rock hopping opportunities for those who dared, and we soon reached Point of Stoer and started heading south easterly towards our lunch spot at the jetty at Culkein where it was rush hour for the local cattle who took priority wandering along the only road holding up the traffic, such as it was.

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Description automatically generatedWe set off again to cross to Eilian Chrona, and next to Oldany Island where we were camping that night. I was really looking forward to this as I had camped here once before a long time back and it was definitely one of my all-time favourite camping spots.

We rounded the northern point of Oldany then played “find the beach” amongst all the rocky outcrops exposed at low tide. Even at low tide the white sand of the tombolo beach (Sand either side of an isthmus) did not disappoint – just as I remembered. Plenty of flat grass for camping and the big plus – a midge free night.

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What a way to celebrate my birthday, the third I have spent on a LCC paddling trip. Great company, amazing coastal scenery on a piece of coast I have long wanted to paddle. The blondies I had made to bring as a birthday treat had survived long enough to be still edible and were shared round. (One thing less to stuff in my hatches tomorrow morning – and a wee dram (or several) of whisky to finish the day off. What more could you want from a birthday…..

I had chosen to keep my phone turned off throughout the trip except from taking the odd photo. BUT, seeing as it was my birthday, I turned it on to get birthday messages from my friends and family. Several pinged their way through including one from my daughter Anna. Happy Birthday Mommy – I’ve been trying to call you – I’m in hospital. News you never want to hear. Poor Anna was in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and had emergency surgery on her lower back. As updates on her recovery came through it became apparent that she would be unable to look after herself for some time when she was discharged so I made the decision to abandon my plans to paddle a second week and leave the group on Sunday after returning to the campsite near Ullapool to go and look after her in Musselburgh…The Gairloch section would be another stretch of coastline to look forward to another time.

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To see more pages from the whole trip go to the Major trips and Expedition reports tab on the club website or click here…….

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles Day 03

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles

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Description automatically generatedDay 03 Tuesday Garvie Bay to Port Allan na Bradhan via Lochinver by Andy Garland

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Description automatically generated I awoke, peered out of my tent, and started counting the midges. When I got to twenty million gadzillion I decided that an ample dosing of Deet and a midge net was a good way to start the day. The tent was un-erected (is that a word?) and gear packed in the boat before all my new midgy mates had had a chance to fully introduce themselves. I sought solace on the water and watched bemused as Roger of Wales assembled his 3-piece kayak (does the pointy section go in the middle or at the end?).

Once all the group were in their boats we paddled north – the sun shone, the scent of heather drifted over the water and the towering monoliths of the Sutherland mountains provided a stunning backdrop. What more could anyone want? Well, the answer to that question is simple…we wanted pies, lots of pies. By an amazing coincidence the best pie shop in the known universe lay only a few kilometres away – The Lochinver Larder (AKA Lochinver Pie Shop). We landed right outside the Pie Shop (I mean right outside – within 4 meters of the entrance) and availed ourselves of their delicious pastry wrapped offerings.

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceWhile scoffing pies, we got chatting to a local fella who divulged some local knowledge about a good bay for seal watching and a hidden gem of a campsite. Once again, we set off to paddle north, accompanied only by the odd crumb of pastry on our lips and the occasional belch of Steak and Ale pie.

After around 5km we entered the narrow entrance of Loch Roe – the seal watching location that had been recommended. It was a very tranquil spot. The numerous seals seemed only mildly interested in our presence and lazed idly under the warm September sun. After a while we continued north to find the hidden gem of a campsite (Port Allan na Bradhan). Well, it certainly was hidden! It took a while for us to find the narrow entrance that was almost invisible from the sea.

However, once ashore we soon pitched camp and some of the more deranged members of the party went for a swim (without drysuits!) in the frigid and terribly wet water. Frankie and I were much more sensible and sat beside the tents shaking our heads at their childish exploits. It had been a fantastic day, but I must admit to having a gnawing sense of unease about what we had planned for tomorrow.

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To see more pages from the whole trip go to the Major trips and Expedition reports tab on the club website or click here…….

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles Day 02

2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles

Day 02 Monday Tanera More Island to Garvie Bay via Isle Ristol and Rubha Na Coigeach (headland) by Ian Bell

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With the weather looking good, the majority of us were ready around the target time of 9:00am. One or two were a little slower than this, as they faced the challenges of getting everything back into the boat after the first night’s camp. After the usual cursing and swearing, we were all eventually packed and ready on the water. In reality, it did not really matter this day, as there were no tide windows that needed to be met. We all set off from Anchorage Bay on Tanera More, heading on a course north, that would take us A person in a boat on the water

Description automatically generated with low confidence around Isle of Ristol. Keith had identified a beach here which was a possible campsite, so we used it as our elevenses stop.

We then continued North around the Rubha Na Coigeach headland, exploring as we went and keeping an eye on the open sea to our left for any possible sightings of wildlife. Although there were a couple of possibilities, we did not have any confirmed sightings of any big mammals. We did see seals and plenty of seagulls.

Once around Ruba Na Coigean, we stated to think about a camping option for the evening. We knew of the commercial caravan site at Achnahaird and that the beach here would be a very long carry, landing and lunching at low water. Being on spring tides we would need to camp high on the beach that night.

We identified Garvie Bay as a better option. This is a small sandy bay just round the next small headland. On arrival, we found that there were several day-trippers enjoying this idyllic beach and the excellent sunshine. At low water the beach was sandy A picture containing water, outdoor, boat, watercraft

Description automatically generated with a rock terrace at the back and above that a grassy area behind which there was a small loch. This feed a stream that ran into the sea on the left-hand side of the beach providing an ideal supply of drinking water, as well as opportunity to wash and freshen up. On the righthand side of the beach was a rock platform which made ideal hard camping for some of us.

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No sooner had we landed, people started to look for and claim their tent pitch. Andy used his paddle to mark his territory, but this was reallocated by someone, who shall remain nameless. Alan was just as quick and found a space on the grass that was flat but was currently being used by a couple, who were sunbathing there. Apparently, he did ask but started to set up next to them. They left shorty after.

Others found spots but soon started to find midges in the grass. Some of us had experience from previous trips in Canada where we camped on rock platforms, so chose this as our preferred option. Once the tents were set up and with some of the weight of our kit out of the boats, they were carried up to top of rocks, so they would be safe for the night. By now, most of the day trippers had left, so we began to cook the evening meal.

As evening closed in, some retreated to their tents. Catriona and I when a short wark to explore the river and view the loch that feed them. It was about 1km of muddy path that took us up from beach, around the small loch to the road, where we got a view across a much larger loch which fed the river. We tried to get to see the waterfalls which we could hear in the distance but as the path tended to go away from river, we could not get very close to get any good pictures only glimpsing them from a distance. Arriving back as dark fell, we retreated to are tent for the night and to see what the next day would bring.

More photos……… Icon

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A group of people in a canoe on a body of water

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To see more pages from the whole trip go to the Major trips and Expedition reports tab on the club website or click here…….

Liverpool Canoe Club is open to all and aims "to provide the maximum canoeing and kayaking opportunities for all its members"