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Arisaig - sea kayaking - June 2016

Alice below the bothy, Arisaig weekend

A group from Deveron Canoe Club visited Arisaig on the west coast for a weekend in June 2016.

 

The area around Arisaig is renowned for its sandy beaches and views of the Inner Hebrides. We arrived in gorgeous weather and established ourselves at the campsite near Portnaluchaig. Sunburn was the big risk, and hats essential.

 

We were able to launch from the campsite, and set off south, to explore the coastline and skerries. As we went, we met several other parties of kayakers, including one family on sit-on-top kayaks, who had brought their dogs with them. Conditions were mill pond calm! We were able to jink in and out of a maze of small islands, and worked our way round to Arisaig Village at the end of Loch nan Ceall. We stopped for a picnic, augmented with ice-cream from the village shop. On the shore was a monument to the servicemen and women involved in the Special Operations Training Unit based in Arisaig during WW2.

 

Once all were feeling a bit fuller, we continued our exploration along Rhue peninsula, going as far as the old pier. Once the main harbour for the area, and crucial to the kelp trade, it declined after Mallaig was developed as the railhead and main port. 

Arisaig - seals and skerries

We returned through the Luinga islands, keeping an eye out for any yachts as we crossed the main navigational channels. Clear views to the Hebrides.

Another chocolate stop on the Arisaig trip

On the Sunday, Simon joined us for the day, Alan having left the previous evening. We visited the inner reaches of Loch nan Uamh, a steep sided sea loch, with dense oak-wood on the bank. The woodland birdsong we could hear was in complete contrast to the gulls and seals of the previous day. Not quite as sunny but still calm. Iain had brought a sail, but this was of no value in the windless conditions. The wind picked up a little, once we reached the archipelago of islands around An Garbh Eilean. Tricky to land, all rock and no sand. After our picnic, we visited a small bothy on the main shore.

The group outside the bothy

We further explored the coastline as we wended our way back to the start point at Ardnambuth beach. Alice made us a batch of pancakes before the homeward journey.