Summer at the Summer Isles

Last week Steven and Victoria went with me on a trip to the Summer Isles. The weather forecast for Saturday was really good and a wee bit windy for Sunday. Due to that we made the most of Saturday and paddled around some of the best spots around the Archipelago. Fist we popped by at Tanera More to have a look how the restoration of the island is getting on. Every time I get there it changes and it’s always a place busy with construction work. I’m really glad that the restoration is done with style and in line of the beauty of the island.

After that lunch break, we kayaked around the south side of Tanera More and then crossed over to Tanera Beag. On the way, we encountered 2 other sea kayaking groups. I guess a few more people made good of the pleasant summer day. After another wee break on a coral beach, we headed out to Isle Ristol for our final stop of the day. There we met a friendly group of kayakers, who we passed earlier in the day. After putting up the tents we had a BBQ at the beach.

The morning saw some of those winds already picking. The advantage was that we didn’t have as many midges as we had in the evening. After a breakfast with the usual cappuccino and egg rolls we headed over to Old Dornie and the walked to the starting point to pick up our cars.

This was a really nice 2 days paddling at the Summer Isle and I hope there will be more like that this year.

sea kayaking skye

Sun, Rain, Midges and no Wind

Last weekend we went to Skye for a 2 day paddle with an American/German couple (living in Germany). The weather forecast for the weekend was superb for paddling with very little wind and some sunshine most of Saturday. However, it was suppose to get more overcast in the evening and then rain. Naturally this means that it perfect for midges. They were out with a vengeance and even going behind the bushes was only possible with a midge hood.

Never mind the wee beasties. The paddling was fantastic. We spotted some harbour seal near Kyle and paddled then up to the Kishorn Islands and then all the way back to Uags bothy. We certainly made the most of the good weather on Saturday and had a good enjoyable BBQ at the bothy. The next day we paddled back to Kyleakin and had a nice lunch after we packed away all the kit.

Watching Thunderstorms

In Early June we organised a trip to the Highland clearance village of Boreraig in Skye. We paddled off from Torrin in full view of Bla Bheinn and paddled south to the village. After a lunch break, we decided to pitch up the tents and have an evening paddle instead of kayaking straight away. The reason was actually to avoid carrying the fully laden sea kayaks over the slippery rocks and seaweed.

As it turned out it was a wise move. As soon as we were settled down we could see the development of a thunderstorm on the other side of Loch Eishort. We would have been right there if we would have paddled after our lunch break. Instead we watched the lightning strikes on the other side of the Loch from a comfortable distance.

On the second day we paddled back out towards Torrin with a slight deviation. We even had 2 seals following us for a little wile.

Girl Power

In May this year, we had 4 sea kayaking trips in Scotland. Almost all participants were women from different parts of the world. In all, we had 13 taking part in sea kayaking and only one man with a sense of adventure.

We also had people from Scotland, Germany, Denmark, Australia and the Czech Republic. Here are some photos of the dream teams.

First Sea Kayaking at Skye of 2019

Last weekend saw the first sea kayaking trip at Skye of the 2019 season. In the team were to girls from Denmark, who felt at home once in the kayak. Even though the waves were pretty choppy right after passing through the Skye bridge the coped really well. We concluded that it must be the Viking heritage.

We paddled from Kyleakin to Pabay and then after a very short lunch break, we crossed over to the Crowlin Islands. The crossing was a bit of a tough job but after 1 1/2 hours we were there and continued to Uags bothy. Straight away we were greeted by 3 lads from Glasgow. The evening was just as jolly with everyone sitting in front of the fire.

The next morning we kayaked east in really calm conditions to a salmon fish farm and then to Port Lunge. There we had a lunch break. After that we continued along the magnificent coast back to Kyleakin. We also made a wee stop to say hello to some seals.

Old Kayak gets a Revamp

You would hardly notice it but this kayak is now 18 years old. I’ve done already a few jobs on it like replacing the skeg and working on the seat. However, over the years I have managed to get a few cracks on the hull and deck.

With the weather this nice, I have started grinding out the cracks, filled them with new gelcoat and sanded it down. Since I got on really well with it I gave it a red trim and replaced all the decklines. I also polished up the deck and then put everything back together. After 8 years I also thought the kayak deserved a name. To stick with the nose theme I started with my kayak Loki I decided to call it “Heimdallr”.

I have to say that the red trim and deckline on the yellow kayak looks now pretty awesome.

First Sea Kayaking Trip of 2019

Last weekend saw our first sea kayaking trip of the season. And boy it was a challenge. We had pretty strong winds coming in from the north. That meant that we had limited options to paddle but stilled managed a group of 6 girls from Edinburgh to get to Glencoul bothy. Unfortunately the weather got worse on Sunday and it was very apparent that paddling was not an option. Therefore the group had a walk to the highest free-falling waterfall of Scotland and another walk towards Glendubh bothy.

In the evenings we enjoyed some good food, drinks and even better company.

Fortunately, the forecast for Monday was much better and we made the most of it by paddling into Loch Glendubh and to the bothy there. After a quick lunchbreak it was off again and back to Kylesku, where we finished the trip.

New Sea Kayaks

We were planning for the last year to expand our fleet of composite kayaks by 2 more boats this year. We bought 2 brand spanking new Venture Kayak Capella.

The Capella reminds me of my first sea kayak, which was a P&H Capella RM 166. These new boats are a 163 for a smaller paddler and a 167. I hope they will serve us well.

Video from our 2-6 February Winter Course

A video made by Alex Harrison who took part on one of our 5 day winter mountaineering courses.

I don’t remember the spindrift to look this pleasant though. Maybe I was too busy looking at my feet when I walked, especially coming out of the Coire An T-Sneachda boulder field.

End of a Great Winter Season

This weekend was the last winter course we have run and I’m proud to say that we have introduced 53 people to winter mountaineering. It has been a challenging winter from the start. There wasn’t a lot of snow to start with in January and as much as fell in February it was just skin deep and fizzled away in a few days of rain and high temperatures. From mid-February, we had 2 figure temperatures even on the summit of Cairn Gorm but still managed to find enough snow to run all the planned courses. Everyone on our courses went away with a buzz.

Here are some statistic for this winter season.

Booked on a 2 day Winter Skills Course: 36
Booked on a 5 day Winter Mountaineering Course: 14
Booked on a bespoke trip or course: 3
Number of winter courses/trips (combined):13