Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Mini kayak expedition Skye

To build up our paddling fitness again, Jaap, our neighbour Lucy and me planned a 3 day kayak expedition to the Isle of Skye in the weekend of the 14th of May. The whole week it had been stunning weather with temperatures of about 20 C (at least on the West coast, not with us unfortunately!) and wall to wall sunshine. However, change was on its way so we worked out a few options. Initially we planned to go round Neist point and then explore Wiay Island.

We first stocked up our supplies in Broadford and enjoyed a delicious (late) breakfast at Cafe Sia. The moment we left Broadford, the only road leading to our destination closed down (and would be for several hours) due to a severe road accident. Change of plan; our new launch point would be Elgol. We did a trip from here almost 3 years ago ( It was wonderful to be here again, in beautiful weather (again!) and Lucy had never paddled here before so we could show her the way.

Launch at Elgol ©Fenfolio2016
Launch at Elgol ©Fenfolio2016
With a head wind of 4 (gusts up to 5) from the North East we first made our way into Loch Scavaig and the start of Loch Coruisk with stunning views to the Cuillin mountains.

Paddling in front of The Cuillins ©Fenfolio2016

Jaap on Loch Scavaig ©Fenfolio2016

Sky, mountain and bothy ©Fenfolio2016

Approaching Loch Coruisk ©Fenfolio2016

Early in the evening we arrived on headland Rhubha an Dunain where we wanted to set camp (like last time). Unfortunately we couldn't land from the North due to the wind and lumpy sea so we decided to get out on the South side of the headland instead. There was plenty of space to pitch our tent but it took some time to found the least windy spot!

Our campsite at Rhubha an Dunain ©Fenfolio2016

View towards Rum and Canna ©Fenfolio2016

Lucy using her petrol stove in prep for her Greenland trip

Overnight the wind died down completely and with a clear sky it was surprisingly cold. Unfortunately there was no firewood to be found here so we wore all our layers and down jacket (me also in bed!).

Calm but very cold night ©Fenfolio2016

The next day we explored this fascinating headland. There are some really interesting historic sites here such as a dun, chambered cairn and an ancient canal thought to be built by Vikings!

Exploring Rhubha an Dunain ©Fenfolio2016

Jaap on ancient dun ©Fenfolio2016

Picture perfect view to Rum and Canna ©Fenfolio2016

Lucy exloring chambered cairn ©Fenfolio2016

Ancient canal ©Fenfolio2016

Happy girls ©Fenfolio2016

Ruins from a house ©Fenfolio2016

Once we had packed all our stuff we paddled back through Soay Sound. Suddenly a large group of feeding seabirds got our attention. At closer inspection we saw about 8 harbour porpoises joining the feeding party!

One of the many harbour porpoises ©Fenfolio2016

The coastline was stunning here, showing off its perfect geological features.

Beautiful coloures and textures ©Fenfolio2016

Dykes and sills of igneous rocks ©Fenfolio2016

Dykes and sills of igneous rocks ©Fenfolio2016

Late in the evening we set camp on the Isle of Soay, near Loch Doire an Lochain on the smaller part of the island. The weather was still fantastic, making our bedroom window view spectacular!

Our campsite on Isle of Soay ©Fenfolio2016

Our campsite on Isle of Soay ©Fenfolio2016

Another beautiful calm but very cold night ©Fenfolio2016

Luckily there was plenty of firewood to be found here and we made ourselves comfortable behind big rocks sheltered from the wind.

Fireman ©Fenfolio2016

Cosy fire ©Fenfolio2016

The next day we explored the island of Soay and in particular the derelict shark factory, started by author Gavin Maxwell. Many basking sharks were processed here for their oil just after WW2. It is now mainly used by local fishermen where they keep their crails.

Derelict shark factory on Soay ©Fenfolio2016

Nature taking over ©Fenfolio2016

Crails ©Fenfolio2016

Sea still life ©Fenfolio2016

Beached vintage video recorder  ©Fenfolio2016

Greylag goose eggs ©Fenfolio2016

Hopefully many more mini expeditions like this will come this season!

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