Thursday, 27 September 2012

Easdale - I think!

It was on our St Kilda trip that Mike was telling us about the SCA trip out to the Garvellachs and Grey dogs. It's an area we've never been to before so it was a great opportunity to have an organised paddle there.
After a few emails, we decided to travel up to Easdale on the Friday evening so we could have dinner in the Puffin Bar with some of the other paddlers on the trip.
It can sometimes be a bit daunting going for a paddle with folk you've never met in an area that is new, but I was still looking forward to it. As we travelled up past the Green Welly and headed over to Oban, the weather wasn't exactly great. By the time we had driven over the Clachan Bridge, it was like pea soup. We arrived in the village of Easdale, found the harbour and unloaded the boats. We were to paddle over to the island of Easdale, except we weren't sure where it was! The fog was that thick. As we were packing the boats, there was a slight gap in the fog, long enough for us to see a couple of kayaks sitting beside the pier on what we presumed was Easdale. That crossing must have been our shortest paddle ever.

A Fair Puggled Skinny Blonde

Easter Island?
Meeting everyone
We found the Puffin Bar where we met Andy and some of the other paddlers. Deciding on what to drink wasn't hard. I've always wanted to be a bit slimmer, so Skinny Blonde beer seemed the right choice. It was rather good, so a second bottle ensued, hence the reason (or 1 of them!) as to why I'm not a Skinny blonde. The beer mat was probably more appropriate for me - Fair Puggled!
Next morning, we did the massive crossing back over to Seil to meet up with the rest of the group, before heading off south. The views were terrific, slightly further than the end of our boats.
Fladda Lighthouse
 We eventually made out the misty shape of the lighthouse on Fladda. The fog was beginning to lift slightly. We made our way down the side of Lunga before stopping for a bite of lunch in the large bay near the bottom.

Lorna, Clair and myself
I have no idea where we are!
Lunch No.1
There's that lovely hill
 We had a wee keek at the Grey Dogs before rounding Scarba with Christabel promising me there is a lovely hill on the island - somewhere. Just round the corner we spotted the first of our Porpoises. Then a Golden Eagle, then some Red Deer. Our next area to paddle through was the Corryvrecken.
Alan and Ansgar
Turning into the Gulf
Hubby dear going with the flow
 Never having been here before, only having heard of the whirlpool and Andy and Alan's stories from the evening before, I was a bit apprehensive as to what to expect. The speed we came through the Corryvreckan was quite amazing with very little paddling. Although we were going through on a nice slow tide, it was easy to imagine how a slight change in weather could result in completely different conditions. Getting stuck in whirlypools isn't always my idea of fun, I have enough practise on our Friday evening paddles up at Stanley! This was where we saw the Sea eagles and more porpoises.
Ansgar at the start of the Grey Dogs
Hubby dear looking for a wave to play on
After another lunch, we were now making our way up the side of Scarba back towards the Grey Dogs. I'd had great fun the week before playing in Kylerhea and was quite looking forward to this area, however we all just seemed to zoom through this bit. The playing part of me is possibly also the river paddler part of me. We carried on back up the west side of Lunga being able to see it now that the fog had cleared.
Belnahua drying rack
Belnahua quarry
 We were making our way up to Belnahua for the night. It's a bit ironic that what is left of the  houses on the islands that roofed the world are all roofless shells. It was quite nice when a bit of a breeze picked up as it cleared the midges, however over night the breeze really picked up. Next morning instead of making our way over to the Garvellachs which was the original plan, we broke camp and headed back to Easdale. The forecast was for fairly strong winds and it was already picking up the seas a bit.

Heading back to Easdale
Easdale with Mull beyond
This earlier finish meant we could pop into Oban for an icecream - a double one. This time it was white chocolate and Ferrero Roche. It should be fairly non fattening as I ate it quite quickly, almost as quick as I was at buying a second hand plastic seaboat from Stuart at Oban seakayaks. I'm hoping to use it for rock hopping and practising rough landings which I tend to shy away from in case I bash my good boat.
Thanks to Andy for organising my thoroughly enjoyable first SCA trip with a great bunch of fellow paddlers, I'd love to come back to this area again especially for a wee play in the Grey Dogs. I'm looking forward to seeing what's on the next SCA calendar.

1 comment:

  1. Great place for adventure! I would really enjoy going to the outdoors and exploring the wonderful corryvreckan whirlpool. It's really famous and I love to try boating in there. It would be so thrilling!