Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In the footsteps of Hamish MacBeth

After a day off exploring the Quiraing and the Trotternish peninsula I headed off with Ruth for a short sheltered paddle as there was a breeze blowing from the West and neither of us was feeling tip top.  We decided that a pootle round the islands around Plockton followed by a bit of tourist action was in order.  Crossing the bridge it soon became apparent that the wind was not blowing on the East of the island.

After a bit of cow wrangling at the rail crossing we launched from Portneora, a quiet bay to the West of Plockton, and made our way out into the small islands.  We bumped into a group out with enjoying the fine conditions, the local seals circling round us like indians round the wagon train. 

With the fine weather, mirror smooth seas and beautiful scenery we decided that we'd take the opportunity to head out to the Kishorn Islands. It was the most surreal paddling experience, the water was so smooth that it was difficult to judge your speed as there was not a mark on the water and with the difference in scale between the high mountains and rocks all sense of depth of field was lost and with it the ability to snese speed.

Not a breath of wind.

We made our way to the south end of the line of islands that cross Loch Carron leading from Plockton into Loch Kishorn.

The lighthouse to the South

Ruth watching the seals half way across.

We made it across just before the Hebridean Princess hauled her anchor and headed out across our route.  We sat on An Garbh-Eilian eating lunch revelling in the fact that we had found the perfect conditions watching the birds around us and trying to spot the otter that had been leaving spraints all over the rocks.  It was obviously a shy one so we left and carried on along our way.

The view back out towards Skye was truly amazing.

Ruth with Skye in the background.

We rounded Kishorn Island passing another group from Plockton Sea Kayaking before heading back towards Plockton.

We put our noses into Plockton bay to see what was there to see, a quaint little village relatively unspoilt by it's brief flirtation with fame back in the nineties.

by now Ruth was getting tired so we decided to call it a day and head back to the van before it floated off, we'd parked on the beach and I was fairly confident I was above the high water mark but I was relieved to see it where I left it.

Ruth heading home

This was a fantastic hidden paddle, off the beaten track on Skye, without the start name mountains but filled with lots of small islands to explore within a sheltered area.

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