We woke at 6am to yet another sunny day with light winds, plus yesterdays swell had eased considerably. Perfect paddling conditions!
After a leisurely start we headed off in time to catch the start of the E going stream at Faraid Head. A lovely headland with an intresting array of stacks and outliers.
From there we crossed the bay at Durness and took advantage of the relatively calm conditions to paddle up to Smoo Cave for a breather and to have a closer look. An impressive feature and suprisingly busy given its remote location. However we declined the option of a guided tour in a rubber dingy.
We then headed across the mouth of Loch Eriboll to Whiten Head as the E going tide started to pick up pace there, although aside from a short section of tide race off the W corner there was little evidence of the conveyor that would takes us steadily Eastwards.
As headlands go Whiten is pretty impresive. 6km of continous cliffs rising in places to over 200m. The sheer scale of the place is very humbling.
Glancing over our shoulders as we passed Bodach Dearg we noted a fog bank rolling in from the west was wrapping its cold damp blanket around Faraid Head. By the time we reached the massive bulk of Cleit an t Seabhaig, 2km further on, it had reached the headland. Fortunately its Eastward passage slowed at that point and we were able to enjoy the trip down the rest of the headland in good visibility before it finally caught up with us.
We swung into the sandy bay at Strathan, which was still in the sun, and set about sorting out a late lunch. After we'd eaten the fog was still lingering off-shore but starting to thin so we decided to extend our stay a while on this lovely beach in the hopes that it would clear. Had this been the Med a place like this would have been over run but here it was empty. In time the fog duely cleared and we went back afloat for the final leg of the day.
The wind stiffened a little to WNW F3 as we crossed Tongue Bay just N of Rabbit Island and passed through Caol Raineach and Caol Beag to a superb campsite on Neave Island.
Distance travelled today: 39km
Total distance travelled: 312km
Midgee ferrocity: 2/5