Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wiay Man

Sunday night saw Bill arrive following an epic solo drive up from Kiddi, and Alex head back across home.  With the change in group and the light forecast (although not showing on the ground) we decided to look into Loch Bracadale with options allowing us to vary the paddle depending on the conditions that we came across.

Kath, Ruth, Bill and myself drove across to portnalong, the Talisker distillery was a distraction to several of the group but we managed to keep them heading on to the pier.  We arrived at high water and were just able to launch from the end.  We quickly paddled out round the Ardtreck point and looked out into the bay across to Oronsay.

The wind was blowing strongly from the South West with occassional white crests being whipped up and with waves breaking over the eastern point of Oronsay.  We decided that we would paddle across to the isthmus between Oronsay and the mainland and from there get a better look at the conditions.  A strenuous paddle across saw us making little progress into the wind as we ferryglided over.  Kath was looking a little uncertain as we made our way over and a quick glance over the other side of the island showed that there was no easing off. 

A quick scan of the map and we had a new plan of attack.  We headed across to Wiay, but instead of heading around the South side as planned we tucked into the calm to the north aiming for Camas na Cille.

Heading over to Wiay
In the lee of Wiay

As we paddled round the north of Wiay the sea calmed down and we were able to enjoy the fine views across to Macleods Tables.  Rounding the west side of the island we soon had wind in our faces and as I looked into the bay I was faced with breakers rolling in, not the place to put the group ashore.  We retraced our route back round the island until we found a small sheltered inlet with a steep stone beach in the back.  We had intended to return to paddle a circular route but no one was particularly keen to head back into the wind so I gave Lee a ring as we floated in the calm and arranged to get picked up at the head of Loch Caroy.  We grabbed lunch in the bay and looking out onto the Cullins, unfortunately as we lunched the tide dropped and the beach steepened causing a shore dump as we launched, it made for an interesting restart but we were soon all underway, dry and fed as we set off for Tarner island.

Impressive cliffs at the South end of Tarner Island

We cruised along the west side of Tarner, the swell keeping us out of the caves that punctured the cliffs.  As we passed Sgeir a Chuain the reef kicked up a nice little surf wave where Bill and myself passed a few moments before heading to the slipway where we met up with Lee closely supervised by Bethan.

Ruth headed off with Kath and Lee to fetch the car leaving me to make the most of my time.

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