Thursday, 14 July 2011

Mull and beyond - Staffa

After our rather long 50k paddle the day before, we had the luxury of a long lie, still managing to break camp and be on the water by 9.30.

Kevin raring to go
Ken and Iain
Nicely refreshed, we headed off round the next section with lots more white sandy beaches until we came to Erraid Sound. When it's high tide this floods to form Erraid Island, however the tide was out, so we had to go the long way round. What's a few more kilometres in the scheme of things. There's a small harbour on Erriad where we landed to have a clamber up the hill to the observatory on the top. The views are wonderful from up here and the break in paddling gave me time to retape my hands which were now looking like a bad Blue Peter project, covered in sticky back plastic. OK so I'm showing my age there!

Looking across to Iona
The observatory
Back in the boats we made our way round to Fionnphort, where Iain seemed to hear bacon butties calling his name, (lunch No1).

Iain passing Iona

Feeling fillingly refreshed again, the plan was to carry on via Staffa. This was a bit of a bonus as we weren't sure if we would make it out there, but the T-shirt sleeve weather was perfect for it. We crossed over and up the side of Iona. Judging by the number of tourist buses at the harbour, the population of Iona must have increased 10 fold.

Heading out to Staffa
Iain approaching Staffa
Sarah in Fingall's cave

Ken in Fingall's cave

Iain in Boat cave
Kevin and Sarah in McKinnon's cave
 As we headed out to Staffa, we saw our first Puffin of the trip. It wasn't long before we arrived and had a wee play in Fingall's cave. Ken decided to try out the accoustics and had a wee sing song, not a good thing for Ken to do, however the cave survived it. Iain checked out the next cave, Boat cave, whilst  Kevin and I had a look at McKinnon's cave. The seaweed stuck to the rocks in here was wonderful. They glowed like they were lit up with mini blue LED lights.

Kevin and his Puffins
 Carrying on round the island , we got the chance to see masses more Puffins and were dazzled by the flashing of the Black Guillemots. We stopped for more lunch, before heading across past Little Colonsay and onto yet another perfect campsite on Ulva. I don't mind admitting the last stretch that day was my tired time. I was glad to see the beach.

Camp site No3
Looking out to Staffa and the Treshnish Islands
After more food, Ken and I had a little wander over to the next bay where we watched an otter having a great time playing about. I headed off to bed soon after, I couln't keep up with the guys who managed to keep going until 1am. I think the whisky helped them do that.

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