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.

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.

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.

Sea kayaking near Kyle

Last Sea Kayaking Trip of the Season

October saw some pretty windy conditions, just to finish off a rather windy season. However, there was a weather window which we managed to use and the Saturday saw some really nice weather with a lot of seals. We paddled from Kyleakin up the coast to Plockton and then stopped for the night at Duncraig Cove. Before that we made a little visit at the Highland Farm to have a look at some Lamas and rather interesting looking goats.

The railway station at Duncraig offered us some great shelter from the elements while we cooked and had dinner. The following morning we had a very short paddle top Plockton to finish the day.

This blog is dedicated to Martin who suggested to have it updated more often.

Ardbeg Distillery

Whisky Galore

This year Unexplored Scotland has been sea kayaking on Islay for the first time. The original plan was to circumnavigate the island and tick off some of the whisky distilleries on the way. The trip would have been a challenge with good weather but unfortunately, that was not to be. After 3 glorious days of good weather, whisky distilleries at the shore and some wildlife the weather has turned. Force 5-6 meant that we had to put in a 3-day break and do the cultural thing on the island and visit Finlaggan, the capital of the Lord of the Isles, an archaeological excavation at Lagavulin and amongst other things.

On our last day we still managed to paddle around Loch Indaal to finish off a memorable trip on the exposed Island. Some of the highlights were the many seals and the best bothy (including an honesty library) I have ever stayed in.

Sea Kayaking Eilean Donan

Windy Week Sea Kayaking

This week was pretty windy with a constant South-Westerly wind around Skye. This meant that it was hard work paddling at times and that the areas we could go in 5 days was a bit limited. However, we managed to do quite a lot of good sea kayaking including a visit to Eilean Donan castle. We also encountered some friendly seals where we camped at the second night and saw some Otters too. One was just laving lunch when we spotted it.

sea kayaking seals

Wind, Rain and Seals

Last weekend was the first day of high winds and some force 4 winds in almost 2 months. Starting at Kyleakin we encountered quite a few common seals, who were sheltering from the southerly wind on some small islands near Kyle. We got pushed along a few km paddling north towards Plockton. However, we decided to stop a bit earlier at Port Lunge and then do the tourist thing and go for a coffee in Plockton.

The second day was a lot more enjoyable with less wind and we managed to paddle over to the Strome Islands and then along the coast to Plockton to finish the trip. Even though it was wet and windy, it was a fantastic trip with some wildlife.

Sea kayaking Portree

Raasay Rover

In late June we have done our first Raasay Rover trip of the year. We managed to circumnavigate the Island starting at Portree. On the first day we had to battle 1.5 metre swells coming in from the north. It was pretty hard going to cross from Portree to Raasay but we all made it in time to put up our tents and have a nice BBQ for dinner. The second day was really hard work. Even though we suppose to be sheltered by the island we managed to paddle into the wind pretty much all day. We had to finish a bit earlier and then have an easier paddle in the morning to get back to Portree.