Sunday, 1 July 2012

All good things must come to an end.

Loch Tamnabhaigh
Recycling buoys - swing for the Kayakey Kid
Next morning, we woke up to a flat calm Loch Tamnabhaigh, unlike the first evening we stayed there.
Iain forming a buoy band!

Loch Reasort
Lazing on a sunny afternoon
Murty's gone paddling
We head off down the loch and round to Loch Cravadale, stopping on the way to recycle some fishing buoys.
Hubby dear
Mike - nice hat!
 After lunch we carried on past Traigh Mheilein (yet more unbelievably beautiful beaches), through more caves until we reached the beach opposite Cearstaigh.
 The colours coming into this bay were something else. The sand and sea looked tropical, unfortunately the temperature of the water wasn't as we found out after our paddling.
What happens when Hubby dear doesn't quite bring his boat up the beach far enough!!!
 For some strange reason, we decided to have a mass plunge in the sea off the back of the Cuma. Standing on the back deck, it suddenly seemed a long way down, but in we went. Carl dived in head first which was interesting as he hadn't let all the air out of his drysuit which meant he had extremely fat, floaty feet. This was also the bay where Mike quite literally hung up his hat for the last time, before it blew off the back of the boat and was last seem drifting off into a beautiful, sunny evening! We had our last tea in this bay before heading back to Loch Miavaig.

Mass plunge
Jings! It's COLD!
The hat - R.I.P.
My one disappointment in the whole trip had been the fact that being on the water so much, it was probably my best chance of seeing a basking shark, but to no avail!
The paddlers were all a bit sleepy by now, obviously swimming was extremely tiring. As we were getting close to Gallan Head, the engines were cut, then Murty appeared and announced there was a shark. I've never seen a bunch of dozy heads move so quickly and sure enough, it was swimming just in front of the boat. After paddling with so many Puffins, in so many fantastic areas with so many stunning beaches, this just finished the trip off for me, I was well chuffed.

The Shark
We spent the last night at Loch Miavaig before saying our goodbyes.
I would be in two minds as to whether I would want to go back to St Kilda. We had such great company, great food, great weather, great trips - I'd be worried in case the next trip didn't match this trip - on the other hand if Hubby dear did suggest going again, I'd probably be on the deck of the Cuma (the only way to go!) before Murdo or Michaella knew what hit them.
The group

Spitting on Taransey, Tsk, Tsk!

Paddling through the Sound of Taransay
Next morning we leave the peaceful bay and paddle round past Luskentyre dunes. These sands are one of the few memories I have of Harris from when I was young in the year dot. We carry on through the crystal clear turquoise waters until we reach the Taransay spit where two tides collide as they meet. The day we were there the sea was lovely and calm, but there was still a bit spitting going on. I can only imagine what it would be like with a bit of a swell.
Not too much spitting
Coffee time
 After a quick break, we carried on to the end of Taransay and crossed over to Loch Leosavay where we had lunch in another stunning setting.
Loch Leosavay
Carl chilling out
Amhuinnsuidhe Castle
 We then carried on round to Scarp with even more wonderful beaches.
Afternoon break
Tough paddling
 After a rather inelegant exit from my kayak, I thought it was time for a bit of self rescue practise and generally getting wet. The Cuma met us in the next bay before we headed over to Loch Tamnabhaigh again for the evening.