Scotland Sea Kayak Trip June 2021 First day (The extra-long alternative) by Ali Watt
Sheena and I had decided to travel down from Skye early on the morning of the first day of the trip. Like all early morning starts, they sound ok in the planning, but much harder when the time comes and you have to leave your bed at 4am. On the road for 5am and a clear road south got us to our departure point at Dunstaffnage Marina, outside Oban, just before 9am.
After just short of an hour’s packing, we had managed to cram in the kitchen sink and everything else required for a week’s self-supported paddling, and we were out of the gates and off. Heading south Catriona thoughtfully contacted us by text to let us know that herself, Andy and Roger where on the water about the same time as us, paddling in the same direction as us, but a good 12km ahead.
We had a great paddle past Oban bay, where we managed to avoid the fishing boats and Calmac ferries by sticking to the Kerrera shore. Once into quieter waters we crossed to the mainland to stop for a second breakfast at Kerrera Slip.
Managing to curb the desire to eat like a whale and consume more than we’d packed for the day, we continued our journey south, trying to avoid seal pups and angry oyster catchers as we went. The weather was good, just a slight head wind which I was very glad of as it slowed my companion’s pace to one I could enjoy.
The Island of Seil came into view, and we knew that we weren’t too far from the rest of the team, in fact we could almost smell them! Onwards we went, into the deep south, rounding every headland expecting to see ‘three kayaks, one a big yellow one’, which was Catriona’s description of the Mersey flotilla we were vainly trying to chase down.
Rounding the point into Easdale village we were pleased to find the three kayaks, one a big yellow one, pulled up on the shore.
I was very pleased that the team themselves had embarked on some good old fashioned urban foraging and were enjoying a pint in the sun, nice one!
After a wee while waiting for a favourable tide through Cuan sound the group, now five in number set off to find a campsite on the island of Luing. After a short while a suitable spot was found, the boats hauled up and dinner prepared. Not long after, Andy, Roger and Catriona came over with some bad news…we had to be on the water for 6am the next day to catch the tide under the ‘Bridge across the Atlantic’. Yippee, another early start awaited us!