2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles
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 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 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.
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.
To see more pages from the whole trip go to the Major trips and Expedition reports tab on the club website or click here…….