Thursday, 3 September 2015

Loch Bracadale and Wiay Island followed by Colbost in Loch Dunvegan - 31st August 2015

The wind had now swung around to a N 4-5, so I thought the SW facing Loch Bracadale would be a good location.

We launched from the pebble beach at Balmore and headed out to cross to the sandy beach on the N end of Harlosh Island.

Unfortunately my theory on Loch Bracadale being sheltered didn't hold out, and the wind was blowing off the land causing choppy conditions with short swell and whitecaps, So we agreed I'd go around Wiay by myself.

Looking S from the E side of Harlosh
The N'erly wind quickly blew me the 4 kilometres down to the W side of Wiay and the headland of Rubha Garbh. Once around the headland, I was in the lee of the island and the calm water allowed me to admire the cliff scenery and explore the large cave on the S end of the island.

Looking from Wiay to Macleod's Maidens in the distance
Approaching the large cave on Wiay

After taking a few photos I made may way round the island and headed back towards Harlosh. With the wind now pretty much on my face, this turned out to be a bit of a slog with water splashing up off the deck. A fishing boat passed by quite close - initially a bit scary because I was worried he hadn't seen me, but once I knew he was going to pass behind me it was re-assuring to see someone else out on the water.

I headed back for a short stop and to meet back up on the beach on Harlosh and then after a brief exploration of the loch near our launch spot we headed back to Balmore and drove back to Dunvegan. About 16km paddled.

Back near Dunvegan, the small islands and skerries on the Colbost side of Loch Dunvegan looked inviting in the afternoon sunshine, so we went back on the water for a short paddle in amongst the various groups of seals. Definitely more nervous than the seals on Anglesey, the seals would enter the water if they saw us getting too close and then follow us around keeping a safe distance. At one point there must have been at least 20-25 seals bobbing around behind us!

Chilling out!
Looking across Loch Dunvegan with our rental house in the distance

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