Monday, 27 June 2011

Seil Island Scotland June 11

The rain stopped and Monday brought sunshine...yes!

Liz and me headed off to the Bridge over the Atlantic aka Clachan Bridge to enjoy scenes like this all day...
Some days in my kayak feel unreal..I have to pinch myself to make it feel real as the sea can be so heavenly beautiful. There are days when the sea is a challenge and it puts me right in the moment but when the sea has an ethereal feel it makes me melt away to dreamtime.
map check to find Cuan sound

scontastic-Oyster Bar/Easdale

experimenting with portage technique on slippy seaweeed

another fine mess you've got me into

Easdale pier-world skimming stone championships held here

experimental paddling technique with too much slippy weed and not enough water

leaning and pulling on 2 boats works well if you can stop laughing

view of Kerrara from Oban campsite
We missed trying oysters for lunch as Easdale Oyster Bar as we spent too much time floating about in Cuan sound waiting for it to get lively....(we did go back next day to console ourselves with another downpour day to have oysters and I had a scallop/mussel/fish chowder-yum)
After a day of sun and silly shenanagins we set up camp and our midgenets helped stopped being eaten as we ate.
We did plan to kareer in kayaks round Kerarra next day but did it rain..where and how does all that water come from...................we bailed and drove home!

All photos by Liz Jordan..I'm still saving up for a new camera.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Gigha June 11

Myself and my paddling pal Liz who has taken these photos took the high road to Argyll in the hope of island hopping in a sunny Caribbean like Scotland...many of the photos I have seen of paddling around Scottish islands seem to be of blue sky, white sandy beaches and azure seas. Now I know that photoshop has a lot to answer for.
loaded up to catch ferry as sea too wild-wide stance is to stop being blown away

Once we got to the island we put tents up in high wind and faceburn rain on a tiny campsite at boathouse cafe..and along came a platebearing Scot with an offering of scallops wrapped in Italian smoked I was not hallucinating this actually happened. However, our constant 'I think it's brightening up' phrase was a bit delusional.
The scallops were in fact a peace offering (we didn't know that at the time) as a large gang of Dads and lads from Glasgow were having a 'bonding w/e' and food/drink/football fest right beside our tents...but who can complain after scallops?

...and yahoo the wind had dropped by the next day and rain moved on so we set off to glide over glassy seas around the beautiful isle of Gigha.

 The sea around the island is shallow and alive with all sorts of seaweed, scuttling and shimming creatures, seabirds including mergansers, scoters ( I think) and we saw 3 otters that day.  Our pace was meandering as we did not want to miss isn't how far or fast I go it's what I see makes my day.

Still, 26k later we hauled out back at the beach of the campsite and just in started to rain so it was back into the tents to make tea.

As you can see the Dads and lads inticed us over to their cave with an offer of a warm fire and as they were a loud lot we did as it was either sit in our tiny tents with rain pounding on us or ..if u can't beat 'em join 'em...and they were good craic too...and helped us dry (burn really)  our socks.

The next morning we headed out to explore the island on foot along wildflower lined lanes and visited the community run gardens. Many of the lovely plants were damaged by 100mph winds that hit a couple of weeks ago..even some trees looked autumal due to salt burn.
The garden was full of intoxicating blooms and after sniffing our way around it this weird sign with a list of rules told us not to smell the plants....whaaat?

Liz got an asbo for this criminal act

After stopping of at the community run hotel for yummy scones boats were packed and  we headed off again to visit Cara island and surfed back to mainland .
tucked into fudge bought at a  housegate honesty box on Gigha while waiting for ferry to get out of the way before landing.

Friday, 24 June 2011

been busy outside

...soz bloz but will get around to writing up some fantasticola paddling ont' sea when I get around to it

Skerries- North Wales ( when on incident management sea kayak course with Olly Sanders of Rock and Sea adventures-learnt loads ) , Gigha, Cara, Seil- Scotland and hopefully NW Anglesey this w/e

. I met 2 otters up close and watched a parent and baby from a distance..seals, merganser, eider, wild goats, amazing wild flowers.and the tortured balast rock scuptures were jaw dropping..I'm full to the top with wonder.