After an early start and a long drive we decided that we were going to have an easy warm up paddle on Saturday, just a short pootle in the shelter close to the cottage that we would be stopping in for the rest of the week. With this in mind I wasn't expecting an awful lot from the 1st day and the increasing wind (F4 gusting 5) and the showers that had set in overnight did nothing to dipel that conviction.
A large group converged on the CalMac terminal in Sconscer Claire and Mark had travelled up from Shropshire a few hours behind myself and Ruth, and Alex had raced across from Aberdeen to stop at the Sligachan campsite. Iain and Sarah (SCC ex-pats) had come across from Inverness and picked up Skye local Dave from Elgol.
The wind was whipping out of the Loch as we climbed into the boats pushing us out into the Sound of Raasay.
Looking north at the low coastline I was still feeling a little less than enthusiastic at the prospect of a damp windy paddle. but as soon as we reached the narrows the coastline was transformed and some shelter from the wind could be found tucked right under the cliffs.
As we headed up the coast a sea eagle circled overhead, it was a bit lumpy at that point and it was too far away so here's a photo of where it came from.
After taking lunch in the shadow of the mountain we headed out just as the rain started to properly lash down, the advantage being that the wind propelled us up the sound towards Portree.
Rounding the corner the cliffs started to become riddled with caves to explore whilst below the surface the clear waters allowed us to see urchins, anemones and starfish deep below us as though they were on the surface. The wind was now funnelling out of the loch into our faces and we had a stiff pull into the harbour.
For a short simple paddle with out the epic scenery that Skye is renowned for this provided wildlife, interesting coastline and the poor weather provided a moody outlook.