After a cold clear night we woke to heavy dew and another fine day in prospect with sunshine and light winds.
The temperature rose rapidly as soon as the sun appeared round the headland and we were sweating hard by the time we'd moved the boats down and packed them.
We put on just after 8.30am and were more that a little sad to leave Neave Island. Having had a look around the night before it looks like a great place to explore by boat.
With it being so hot we dispensed with the cags and headed across Torrisdale Bay to Farr Point and then on to Kirtomy Point and Ardmore. As we approached this last one the wind began to pick up from the East which given that we were already working against the tide was an added pain.
Heading across the bay to Aultivillin the wind speed increased steadily to F4. As we crossed the bay we spotted our second Minke whale of the trip.
After something of a tussle we pulled into Port Allt a Mhuilinn, a hidden cove that is probably only ever visited by kayakers. Today it was a sun trap out of the freshening wind; however we didn't linger long as the E going tide at Strathy Head was due to start running shortly and we wanted to be sure that we got around before it did so, particularly given the strengthening wind which would be pushing against it.
With cags now donned again we headed for the next significant point on the trip. We reached it only a few minutes later than planned to be greeted by some pretty rough and chaotic seas. They were however manageable we decided so we pressed on round the point before things could build any further.
The passage across to Portskerra was rough and hard going. In addition the wind seemed to have stiffened still further. Faced with a further 16km of paddling to the next possible campsite (Sandside Bay not making it onto the list for well documented reasons) we decided to call it a day at Melvich Bay instead.
After a chat with the local Ghillie we were granted permission to use a fine spot on a bend in the river.
As we paddled the boats up steam to the agreed spot we were greeted by a group of local nursery age youngsters who we enjoying the sun and splashing in the river under the supervision of a couple of the mums. As soon as they spotted us their attention shifted to these strange folk from the sea. We were asked, politely, for shots in our boats and the two of us took it in turns to tow the around the pool on the river. Eventually they tired of this game but no sooner had we got the tent up than it was taken over by them delighted to be getting a shot at 'camping' as well! Not that it mattered to us, we had plenty of time to spare so we lay back in the sunshine and left them to their fun.
Once they had headed home for tea we set about making camp proper, washing many days worth of salt out of our kit and relaxing in the sun.
Distance travelled today: 29km
Total distance travelled: 341km
Midgee ferrocity: AM 3/5 hoods recommended. PM Nil - too windy for flying.