Sunday, 5 July 2009

Moidart

Small enough to pootle around but with plenty of interest and stunning scenery to keep you occupied for a full day, Loch Moidart has to be my favourite sea loch.



Castle Tioram, formerly home of of Ranald, son on Somerled, Lord of the Isles, sits on small island that can be approached on foot along a tombolo at most times other than higher tides.


Eilean Shona is a large tidal island that splits Loch Moidart in two. Much of the north channel dries out at low tide and is shallow at high tide, being passable for a kayak but most other craft will struggle. Large parts of the island are wooded and there are a number of properties scattered around the island, some of which can be rented from the estate as holiday homes. A cracking place to get away from it all.


I spotted this old trawler from my launch spot so headed up the loch to get a closer look. I have this thing for old wooden fishing boats.....

There are a small number of superbly located cottages along the coast and islands of Loch Moidart. Dream on.

Turning towards the southern channel of the outer loch you soon get sight of the skerries that guard the entrance and passage of the outer loch. Seals, otters, popoises and eagles, both golden and white-tailed can, and were, seen here.


At the mouth of the loch the view opens up from Ardnamurchan to Muck and on to Eigg and Rum.


Close to the entrance of the loch a sandbar joins Eilean Shona to one of the skerries. A group from Rockhopper Seakayaking were on a day trip in the loch and had decided on the same lunch location, but it was easy enough to lose one another here.


After lunch I slipped out of the loch and headed out to some of the offshore skerries, working my way through the many inlets and channels, enjoying the rise and fall of the swell on the outside of the rocks and the push and pull of the wash through the channels. Given the big skies it was easy to see the weather changing. The pattern of the week, a rising and strong afternoon northerly wind, was brewing again, so rather than heading further up the coast I turned south to Farquhar's Point and headed back in to the loch, exploring the southern shore of the Loch, then the northern, and back to the southern side again.

The wind really picked up, the rain started, and stopped, but soon the loch was a mass of white horses and I was on the south-side with breaking waves and the wind beam on. Oh joy! I ground out a tough paddle, switching to the north shore to avoid the shallows where the River Shiel flows in to the loch before finishing back at the castle.

1 comment:

Will said...

Great trip - reminds me of my own solo wanderings, this area being perfectly suited to such trips...must get back soon!