31 Aug 2011

A wee day out on Loch Lomond with Muir and Dick - 6-3-11

A WEE day out on Loch Lomond  is always refreshing.. specially early on a Sunday morning in the mist!
Meeting at Luss car park, I met up with Glasgow Kayak Club members Muir and Dick for a wee paddle around the islands.

The Luss Horseshoe above Luss

 Inchgalbraith Castle with Dick approaching.


Approaching Inchfad

Dick and Muir facing Conic Hill as we passed Inchcailloch.

Lunch stop one

  Muir (lft) and Dick await my return from my 'comfort break'

Dick approaching Luss

Muir and Dick approaching Luss through the gloom of an early March day

 It was this misty and calm...

Skye trip with Andy McManus and Crawford Brysland - 25/27 - 3-11

THE first 'Biggie'.. Andy McManus at the GKC had posted about organising a trip to southern Skye, in March!, launching from Elgol, with stops at a bothy at Camusunary and then Glen Brittle.
'Am in'...
Crawford Brysland also signed up and Andy and I set off from Glasgow meeting Crawford at, of all places, McDonald's at Balloch.
A gorgeous run up in fine weather through Glen Coe saw us stopped a few times for the obligatory photo opperchancities..

Andy and Crawford posing in front of the Buachaille Etive Beag with the Three Sisters waiting to inspire in background.

The Three Sisters of Glen Coe - Beinn Fhada, Gearr Aonach and Aonach Dubh. (left to right) from the Meeting of the waters car park.
And so the stunning views just kept on coming.. on arriving at Elgol the view into the south Cuillin mountain range was all I had hoped, but still nothing prepared me for it.. breathtaking. Sgurr na Stri, on right, rises 495m straight out Loch Scavaig as the partially cloud covered Sgurr nan Eag tops out at 926m straight out the loch with Loch Coruisk in between them a must visit area.

So, it was kit up, dump Andy's car in a nearby spot and have a wee chat with the locals as it started to get dusk, but, we had a 5km paddle to Camasunary so, get on wi it like.. :-)
Sgurr nan Eag (lft) and Sgurr na Stri
Crawford and Andy race off towards Camasunary and Sgurr nan Eag (lft) and Sgurr na Stri.
The closer we got to them the more awesome they got.

Sunsets behind Sgurr nan Eag as Andy is set on fire..
So, we arrive at Camasunary Bothy and Andy and I dig out our pasta and noodles and dry biscuits - oh, and Grouse whisky!.. but, Crawford whips out his 'Titanium stove' and slaps on SIX Rib Eye Steaks that had been marinated in Teryaki sauce.. and he treated us to the finest meal outside a Michelin restaurant.. with noodles..(when I came home I tried to recreate this meal and atmosphere.. but, no chance.)
The home made fire kept us warm and added to the atmosphere.. as did the thick smoke!
Next morning it was up and get the photo opperchancities..

And so, into Loch Coruisk, where seals were waiting and watching in the calm bay.
And yes, they all fired straight into the water as we approached, apologies to the 'Seal Spotting Boat which arrived shortly after this photo was taken to spot... NAE seals!

The Three Musketeers overlooking Loch Coruisk.. a wee loch one 'can' portage yer Kayak up to as it's about a 100 or so yards up a wee slope, but since we had fully laden 'yaks, it wasn't an option this time.

A tight hat with a hangover is not a good idea.. :-)
Then it was a gorgeous paddle over to the island of Soay, its harbour and into visit Gavin Maxwell's abandoned Basking shark factory where Crawford had been looking forward to visiting all trip... Andy was excited too and nearly capsized ..kidding, he was practising his high brace..
After leaving the army, in 1945, Maxwell purchased the island of Soay, just south of the Isle of Skye, for £900.
Maxwell, more famous for his 'Ring of Bright Water' book, and Tex Geddes started a factory to produce shark oil in 1945, but as synthetic oil became more prolific, Maxwell's project failed in 1948 after catching 1,000 Basking sharks.
The huge carcasses were pulled out of the water here, the livers rendered for oil, the rest sold for fertilizer, aphrodisiacs or food. 

Crawford was in his element and couldn't get enough of the history and atmosphere of Maxwell's shop.

The huge steam pump

Gavin Maxwell's house

The huge vats where the shark oil was stored.

We crossed the path of these stunning face-like rocks at Rubh'an Dunain, at the top of Loch Brittle but after a quick stop we paddles on, but, promising a stop the following day on our return home.

A long, long slog down Loch Brittle to the camp site at the bottom of the loch saw us pitch up in an empty Glen Brittle camp site

Something's missing?.. oh aye, the boats...
Andy seems to have dropped something.. no, it's mine.. see what I did there..?

Crawford had to bale his boat in the morning after a wee spot of rain.
So, back to Rubh' an Dunain and the very unexpected views..
The boats parked up in the very man made harbour
Great views down the south of Skye.

The three Musketeers with Rum as backdrop

The Cell for the monks or whoever..?
A man made wall
A man made wall we discovered had us guessing and imagining all day

This is the man made harbour and entrance way to an inland lochan that is said to have been built be VIKINGS! and a Viking long boat is said to be at the bottom of this lochan.
Back out to Soay and a paddle around the southern side of the island where overhangs and caves are everywhere.

There was a discussion about staying another night at Camasunary Bothy, but it was home time and a last look at the Cuillin hills.

A swift braking by Andy was needed as we rounded a bend to find Highland coos in the road! Thanks.

I have to add some of Andy and Crawford's Photos too as they are quite superb.. thanks lads.
Andy's pix:

Crawford's Pix: 

Lunch in Andy's shelter.