Sunday, 28 July 2013

An alternative to the Beaufort scale

Our Lady of Knoydart
When we looked out our tent in the morning, our lovely sunset had once again changed into a grey, wet, windy morning!
Heading round to Inverie
We decided to have a wee daunder over to the islands in Sandaig bay. There was no point going any further, it was going to be even windier past the islands. It was here we sat and watched Golden eagles flying high over the hills. We turned and followed the coastline round into Inverie Bay. Surprisingly, the wind was slightly behind us here blowing us straight into the shelter of the jetty in Inverie, a perfect spot for lunch and a stretch of the legs which just so happened to take us via The Old Forge pub! I should possibly have had a pint of hot chocolate, but opted for a nice refreshing cider instead. Unfortunately the ladies loos were out of action, it's amazing how a wee treat like a real loo and hot water is greatly appreciated after camping wild! At least the toilets on the pier were working, my consolation here was that there were no mirrors!
Inverie bay was now looking exceedingly grey(er)! It was also getting chillier, a good fast paddle over the bay soon heated us up. After a breather at Creag an Eilein, we set off in the direction of Wester Stoul and the ruined village.
Weather's not too bad, the hoods down!

It was at this point I decided, having watched Hubby dear and his hat, how to tell how windy it really is! This hat has travelled far and wide and even stays on when under water!
When aforementioned hat is sitting loosely on, it's a lovely day.
When it's pulled on a bit further, it's getting breezy.
When it's jammed on, it's getting seriously breezy.
When the chin strap goes on, it's now officially blowing a hooley! It's time to think of using your paddle leash! or abandoning the trip!!
And when the hat is jammed on, plus chin strap and the hood is up - well, it's summer on Loch Nevis!
Even in this weather we managed to spot a porpoise quite far up the loch. We did eventually get over to Wester Stoul where we decided against camping, a bit too many sheep and barbed wire fences. After a hot drink and more guzzles we carried on along the loch in relatively sheltered water - this was more like it!
As we approached Sgeir a Ghaill, we were accompanied by an otter busy fishing. This was the last of our pleasant sheltered waters. As we rounded this corner, the hat was pulled down, the chin strap went on and the hood was pulled up! We paddled between points, grabbing breathers often. It was good to see the start of the houses of Mallaig. We did think about landing at Mallaig for an ice cream (it's never too cold for ice cream!). We also thought about pulling out here and busing it back to the car, however, we sat for a while outside the harbour getting tossed about while we waited for a fishing boat to pass and decided to carry on to Morar. Having come in through some large surf waves, it was good to be back on dry land and crash out in the tent after a well earned tea.