10 Jun 2012

Solo trip to Arisaig Skerries and Rhu Peninsula 26/27-5-12

AFTER watching the weather forecast on XC Weather (http://www.xcweather.co.uk/GB/forecast) and The Met office during the week, it was obvious the last weekend of May's weather was going to be perfect for a paddling and camping trip to Arisaig and the Rhu Peninsula.

ALL Packed and Yak on car, an early start under cloudless skies, gave me quiet roads and stunning views.

Hitting Glencoe, it would have been rude of me not to have stopped for some photaes of Black Rock Cottage and the Buachaille Etive Mor.

Sorry, I just couldn't wait to add the following couple of photos.
Graham sitting in gorgeous waters at the most gorgeous beach of Port nam Murrach, at Rhu, before heading home on the Sunday.

A short break on a Skerrie outside Arisaig on the Saturday. Quite superb paddling conditions meant I could have been anywhere in the Med or Carribean. The village of Arisaig is in the distance.

My campsite at the gorgeous beach of Port nam Murrach, Rhu.

So, back to the journey up to Arisaig. The Three Sisters of Glencoe (Aonach Dubh, Gearr Aonach and Beinn Fhada).

I set off for the Skerries on Loch nan Ceal on Saturday morning in near perfect conditions.

The village of Arisaig from Loch na Ceal.

Good grief...

Out in the skerries, the ebbing tide was draining water from the around the many wee islands and making the lagoon in the middle the place to be.

Views of the 'Sma' Isles, Eigg and Rum were outstanding on such a clear and warm day.

Out in the skerries, the ebbing tide was draining water from the around the many wee islands, making the lagoon in the middle the place to be.

Cracking views of Skye's Cuillin Hills over the skerries.

X marks the spot on the skerries.

Out in the skerries, the ebbing tide was draining water from the around the many wee islands and making the lagoon in the middle the place to be.

No, not the Med, Arisaig Skerries with Rum in distance.

A small corner of the island of Eigg and Rum in distance

Paddling through the skerries, I found many colonies of basking seals, and unfortunately, as slow and as careful and as distant as I could make it, they still flopped back into the water. These two didn't.

An Sgurr on Eigg towers above a sandy skerrie beach.

Although fairly deserted, I wasn't totally alone in and around the skerries.

The islands of Eigg and Rum (again).

After a brilliant two-hours of paddling and wandering in and around the Arisaig Skerries, I ventured around the Rhu Peninsula to the fabulous beach of Port nam Murrach with the equally stunning views of the hills of Moidart in the distance.

A tweaked photo of Eigg and Rum.

Port nam Murrach beach with the munching cows and views to die for.

The touring 'MV Shearwater' boat (http://www.arisaig.co.uk/index.asppopped into the bay, but luckily didn't stop.

9.30pm, Saturday, May 26 - Eigg and Rum support the sun before she sets.

9.55pm, Saturday, May 26 - the sun just about to drop between Rum (left) and the Cuillin Hills (right).

It is hard to put into words how calm and peaceful Port nam Murrach really is first thing on a sunny Sunday morning.

The most strenuous thing I did before paddling was make my porridge in my trusty Trangia.

The Cuillin Hills of Skye over the top of the skerries.

Port nam Murrach, Rhu, Arisaig. It can be walked to - 2 miles from road end!

How clear? How smooth? Time to head out after luncheon and de-camping with a request of three fellow paddlers who arrived as I set off to take this snap, as solo paddling doesn't give much opportunity of self portraits.

The island on right - Eilean a' Ghaill - has traces of fortifications and sporadic vitrification (see link).
I paddled round south from Port nam Murrach to see the fort and a terrific view of the hills on Ardnish and found a sandy beach on the northern part of the wee island. As the tide was ebbing there was no need to tie my Yak down.

The sandy/ shell strewn beach on Eilean a' Ghaill with yet another white sandy beach on the mainland Rhu peninsula.

The destroyed fort on Eilean a' Ghaill

The three paddlers that had I had met at Port nam Murrach arrived to circumnavigate Eilean a' Ghaill and the hills of Ardnish rise dramatically in the distance.

Eigg and Rum on the horizon above the fort's rumble.

The northern beach on Eilean a' Ghaill.

The forecast F3 northerly wind came in as expected mid-afternoon so I paddled straight back to my car at Rhu via Port nam Murrach and at the new jetty and fish farm, from where I launched the previous day, I sadly landed before heading home after another stunning Arisaig experience.