Friday, 29 May 2009

night and day

Perhaps it was the conversation about how glad we were that we hadn't bothered with a solar charger that did it, but whatever it was Friday morning brought a cloudless sky with light winds.

At last!

Getting afloat took us a bit longer than usual. We'd hitched a lift into Lochinver the afternoon before and faced with a shop full of food had given limited thought to where we might put it all. Still it all went in eventually.

We headed North up the coast to Point of Stoer in time to catch the start of the N going tide. There was still a reasonable SW swell left over from yesterdays wind and the section past the Light was pretty lumpy but other than that it was fine, a far cry from the previous day.

The Old Man himself looked particularly impressive with the sun glancing off his flanks, but with a sizeable ground swell still running we decided against taking the inside line.

From there we headed round to Oldany Island for a well earned break before heading NE across Eddrachillis Bay. By now the sea was like a gentle heaving millpond. Then half way across the bay our path was crossed some 200m in front of us by a pod of 10 or 12 common dolphin some of who were getting airborne as they surfaced- fantastic. Ten minutes later and a Minke Whale blew briefly off to our right before disappearing again. Then came the first puffin of the trip and a flock of gannets feeding, including one being chased by a Bonxy intent on making sure that it gave up its meal. And slowly the memory of the days of rain mist and wind began to fade.

From Eddrachillis we headed on to Handa for another breather and to bask in the sunshine and soak up the views back to Stoer and the hills in land.

Then the final leg of the day up the coast to Oldshore Mor. Given the ground swell there was probably 4' of surf running which made for an interesting end to the day and one which Tony particularly enjoyed.

So here we are at 10pm sitting on a buff overlooking the bay and watching the surfers strut their stuff.

All in all probably one of the best days paddling you could have.

Distance travelled today: 49km
Toyal distance travelled: 237km
Midgee ferrocity: 1/5 - only came out when the sun set!

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