Paddlers: David, Innes, Sue, Alan, Jamie, Douglas, Geoff
Objective: A circumnavigation of Lismore
Saturday: The day started well with all paddlers at the Ganavan Beach, 2 miles north of Oban, before 10am. This is a excellent start point with a large shallow sandy beach and excellent parking (£2 per day).The weather was breezy mostly overcast but with occasional breaks. We had opted for Ganavan to make best use of tide and wind and so it proved. There was a big swell driven by a Force4 and it made for interesting paddling.
Our first stop was for the Lismore Broch. Brochs are large circular towers with a hollow wall. They are found only in Scotland and are thought to be around 2000 years old. The Lismore Broch is well worth a visit if only for the stunning views.
We pushed on northwards with the weather becoming more and more threatening. Around the point we decided to camp at the site just at the point. However when we arrived we found another group of 14 erecting tents. After some discussion we decided to push on and try and find an alternative. In retrospect it was a blessing for the next bay not only contained flat (tish) ground but a wood supply (albeit difficult to access) in the surrounding woodlands. As the evening got increasingly wet, the fire proved the highlight.
Sunday: After a very wet evening the next morning dawned dry and bright. The view from the site was excellent with Glensanda prominent on the Morvern shore. As agreed we made an early start (8.10) to catch the south flowing tide aiming to reach the southernmost point at 12.30; slack water.
The next stop was the spectacular Coefin Castle (ruins).
The weather was constantly improving as we headed south. The headwind was dropping to negligible, the sun came out and dolphins/porpoise came to play. Seals looked on expectantly and an otter stopped and stared. The cliffs revealed caves and gashes; this was what one hoped for.
After a break for inspection of yet another castle (Adachurn) and lunch we headed on for the point. As we reached the point at peak low water, there were two linked questions; 1) can we get through behind the lighthouse island? 2) Do we want to if we can?. In the end we decided that round the light was more exciting and the gap probably does exist even at low tide.
The final decision was whether to paddle the 9k directly back to Ganavan or travel up the coast and jump across the islands. The direct route was chosen and some 1.5 hours after setting off we reached the beach. Another excellent trip.