16 Aug 2012

Solo Trip to Arisaig Skerries and the Rhu Peninsula (again) (11/12-8-12)

ARISAIG and Skerries, two words, for me, that conjure up visions of white sandy beaches, sparkling aqua marine seas, blue skies, warm air, peace and quiet, inquisitive seals and the odd otter and friendly people.. unless it's the winter and blawin' a force 8 gale!..
But, it isn't the winter and it certainly wasn't 'blawin' a force 8 gale when I had another wee jaunt round the many small islands or skerries that lie just outside the friendly Lochaber village of Arisaig.

I wish there had just been one set of footprints, but the image says it all otherwise, with the white sand, sparkling blue sea and tranquility of being alone at the time.

The beach at the pier on the Rhu Road makes for easy access to Loch nan Ceall if you don't want to set off from Arisaig village itself.

And the pontoon for boats makes for a great podium for cameras for self portraits..

Many times on my way over to the Skerries I just stopped and drifted to watch the world and his boat also drift by on a calm day. Eigg and Rum in the distance beckon this yacht and her crew.

Terns fly in the warm air

Fish jump for food as I drift through their feeding ground

Common Seals bask in the sunshine wondering what the funny man in the yellow tube was going to do next

So they came to greet me

Luncheon stop on one of the many skerries with Arisaig in the distance a hub of activity compared to out here

 It's MY bit!!.. er, til the tide comes in and takes it back

Back to one of my favourite beaches in the area - Port nam Murrach on the Rhu Peninsula. It can be walked to - 20 mins half an hour from the Rhu road end BTW! (but, don't tell everyone).

The sun starts to head west to set over Eigg and Rum with two more Kayakers heading for dry land for the night

Port nam Murrach Beaches

Eigg and Rum

I'm just here for the Craic...(I'll get my coat).

Sunset over Eigg and Rum

Sunset over Eigg and Rum

Sunset with the Cuillin in the far distance on Skye


Sunday morning brought calm conditions as I was sheltered  from an easterly breeze by the mainland hills for once (it's usually a south westerly blowing behind or a northerly blowing in your face...)

It's only Wrack and Roll but we like it (did you see what I did there?)

More sunny ventures through the Skerries before home

Forgot to mention at Port nam Murrach beach you will always bump into fellow Kayakers.. Andy and Cathy and a bigger group all spent the night.
And Cathy and I have a mutual friend.. which was nice. Fellow Glasgow Kayak Club member big Eric.

The others prepare to leave the beach, with a wave from Andy

Home from home

Andy and Cathy leave, as I was about to do shortly for another skoot round the Skerries...

Evening paddle from Finnart Pier to Carrick Castle with Andy McManus (29-5-12)

AFTER the cracking weekend up at Arisaig, a couple of days later, Andy enquired if I fancied a wee evening paddle on Loch Goil to Carrick Castle? 'When do we launch big chap?'

Andy arriving at the 'Midge Infested' Carrick Castle.

Launch site was our old dive site at the oil tanker terminal at Finnart Pier on Loch Long (no sign of the swarms and swarms of the dreaded biting midges that met us on our return a few hours later).
The tide was on its way in so made the launch none to problematic and no long carries to the water's edge.

Off round the oil tanker terminal heading for Loch Goil, Andy passes one such tanker registered in Gibralter.

Across the lochs into Loch Goil and headed for Carrick Castle with the hills above shrouded in evening mist.

The 15th century Carrick Castle is in the throws of redevelopment and scaffold is attached to its walls.

Carrick Castle

However, when we eventually landed at Carrick Castle, the aforementioned Midge met us en mass!!

Midge Hell for Andy

A quick photo opperchancity

Castle Castle

In our mad rush to get back in the boats and away from the Midge, all traditional methods of boat re-entry were forgotten and it was every man for themselves!

Get away from land as fast as possible!

The middle of the loch was the only safe haven from the midge.

And it was a gentle paddle back to Loch Long via some Loch Goil coast.

The rain came on a bit as we past this gorgeous, but lonesome, cottage on Loch Goil

We 'thought' it would be good idea for us to take a shortcut under the pier on the way back to the car, but, the man on the pier advised us against it due the the 'inflammable nature of the chemicals being piped ashore at the time...' 

So, it was round the side of the boat and back to the car, and those dreaded, dreaded midges that ended up in EVERY available orifice.. But, a cracking fish tea in Helensburgh more than made up for it.