Loch Sunart: Easter weekend 2018

Loch Sunart: Easter weekend 2018

Graham and I travelled up to, and camped at Resipole on Friday, meeting up with Anne Saturday morning. Launching from the slip, we crossed the loch and paddled down the southern shore in favourable conditions spotting an isolated seal pup, sans parent, lazing on a high rock on the way.  Heading down towards Carna, we were carefully checked out by an inquisitive (and posssibly frustrated) sea eagle beside the fish farm.

Ebb tide and low water by now meant that Caol Charna was almost closed off with a small tiderace against us, but we nicked round someone camping at NM622581 to paddle up the western side of Carna, where the tide was in our favour.  Watched by a group of over 20 seals, we continued round the northern side of Oronsay and headed out to and round Auliston Point with a following NE wind which didn’t present too much difficulty, where we met some Greenock paddlers.  We biffed  back into Loch na Droma Buidhe to a previously intriguing spot and built a fire on the beach, having had a very satisfying 26km on the water.  A young otter appeared 10 metres away as we ate and vanished instantly in surprise at our intrusion.

-5c overnight and a ground frost, but a cloudless and stunning day followed; no wind and the water like glass.  Small portage at the rapidly drying-out eastern channel past Dorlinn; then across to Risga (where the feral goats were not in evidence) and up the northern side of the loch in ideal conditions, coping easily with the remaining ebb.  Great views up and down the loch from Dun Challain, where we stopped for coffee.  Paddled into Salen and then back to Resipole, completing 17 km on the day, now with a slight breeze behind us.

Thanks to Graham for organising/overseeing the trip and to Anne for joining in what was a terrific weekend visit to a highly recommended area.

 

Ian Patterson

Ian Patterson