Sunday, May 8, 2011

Welcome to Dunvegas

It was still windy blowing from the south west/west and we decided that we'd head up to Dunvegan and paddle round to Stein.  This was always supposed to be a smaller group but with Sarah and Iain stuck in Portree with wonky wheels it ended up with only Alex, Claire, Mark and myself paddling.  The sun occasionally broke through and the wind was less prevanlent as we launched from the pier and headed up past the castle.

Paddling past the castle

Just beyond the castle we saw a seal on the opposite side of the loch porpoising as the tour boats razzed around showing the tourists the 'wildlife'.  Sure enough, despite keeping out of the way one of the tour boats felt the need to tear over to us, tell us not to go near to the seals as it was harmful for them to go into the water.  Fair enough we said and carried on on the opposite side of the loch to the seals only to have the boat turn round and come back through us at full chat.  There really are some arseholes in the world and these guys appear to be at the top of the list. 

We paddled out of the loch in Dunvegan and headed across to the Eilian Dubh/Mor.  Here we were met by seals taking their life into their own hands by swimming in the deadly water. We stopped and watched as they played around us before heading round the back of the islands.  In the shallow waters here there were sea birds a plenty and more seals than I could keep track of.  We mooched through the channels taking our time to see what was there but soon we had to head out and set off back to the eastern shore.

Looking North up Loch Dunvegan

As we crossed the sun gave up the ghost and headed behind the clouds for the rest of the day and we ended up slogging across the loch with the wind increasing as we headed out of the Lee.  In the distance we could see the coral beaches at the tip of the peninsula, and we carried on with the promise of lunch.  As we arrived we found that the coral beach was actually little more than a small strip coated liberally in squaking kids, dogs and masses of people.  We paddled round in the hope of finding somewhere a little more out of the way but with no joy.  Instead we carried on round to Lovaig bay and here we found a spot away from the madding crowds and finally managed to get a bite to eat.

By now no-one had any great inspiration to paddle out round Iosaigh so we headed downwind surfing the waves that towards the pretty little settlement of Stein.

I don't know whether it was a bit of a hangover from the drive up, the weather, the friendly welcome we received or just the fact that the trip just wasn't all that inspiring but none of us got off the water particularly impressed with the paddle since we had left the islands to the south of Loch Dunvegan.

1 comment:

  1. I'll scond your comments about the arseholes on the seal watching boats at Dunvegan. I had a major f*in rant at one of them 3 yrs ago and got a load back, and others have had the same experience.
    Coral beach.... my wife walked there with the dog and thought it was crap too.
    However the pub at Stein is well worth the trip. Good grub and beer.