Sunday, 9 August 2009

The Cuillin and Soay - Part 1

On Saturday I travelled from Sunart to my new base at Ord on Skye. Having suffered immediate withdrawal symptoms Sunday had to be a paddling day. Fortunately the weather was superb and the trip I had in mind was one not to be undertaken lightly by someone traveling solo - Loch Scavaig and the isle of Soay. My launch spot was Elgol, a delightful village with a superb tea room and small harbour.

I was very keen to get on the water as the conditions were just too good to be true and the scenery quite stunning. The ridge of the Black Cuillin lay before me, Gars-bheinn to the left leading away to Sgurr nan Gillean in the distance at 3/4 right. The little hill in the front right is the modestly high but still striking Sgurr na Stri.

To prove how keen I was to get paddling, please observe the day-glo yellow jacket still tied to the stern of my kayak from when it had been on my car roof rack! I beached at Claddach a' Ghlinne at the mouth of Glen Scaladal to remove this item of uncool paddling kit.

Then I noticed the view in the other direction - Rum. The island is about 18km away.

Having corrected my faux-pas I pressed on, passing the bothy and other buildings at Camasunary. The estate here used to be owned by Ian Anderson of Jethero Tull fame, before he sold up to the local community. The hill to the right is Bla Bheinn and the one at the back Marsco, both part of the Red Cuillin.

Eventually I entered Loch na Cuilce, hemmed in by the Cuillins and with many islets covered with seals, hundreds of them. The Junior Mountaineering Club of Scotland have a hut here, the Coruisk Memorial Hut. What a superb location. Landing around here is generally difficult as the rocks slope straight down in to the sea, but just in front of the hut there is a seaweed covered rocky beach. Time for lunch number one.


Will said...

Looks like you had a great trip - it was walking out from the Cuillin along this stretch of coast that finally convinced me to buy a kayak...

Vince said...

Hi Will. Yes, I know the Cuillin well from my climbing days but I don't think sea kayaking was invented then! It certainly brings a different, quite superb, perspective to the landscape. I note you had a bimble around Bass Rock. Great stuff and an awesome lump of rock... not been there for years.