Skye and Loch Nevis June 5 – 7 2012

Paddlers: Hugh, Geoff, Jamie

Depart from Silver Sands of Morar

Weather: Bright with lots of sun and almost flat calm. The threat of high winds and torrential rain on Thursday after 4pm was an ever present and rather dictated where we went.

Day 1: Morar to Point of Sleat (Skye) 14km (8mi). Point of Sleat to North of Armadale 16km (10mi)

From our put in, the River Morar was very shallow  between extensive sand banks. There was a bit of scraping before embarking on the 8 mile crossing to Skye. This proved easy if lengthy.

The River Morar
Crossing the Sound of Sleat with Eigg and Rum in background
Heading North with Beinn Sgritheall and Knoydart in background
Campsite 1

Instead we headed up north along the Skye coast past Armadale and the Gaelic college eventually camping on a fairly rough site. However the supply of wood was excellent and a brisk north easterly kept the dreaded Skye midge away. A good evening.

Day 2: Skye to Doune (Knoydart) 6.5km (4mi). Doune to North Morar 11km (7mi) to Inverie via Kyles of   Nevis 22km  (14mi)

The wind dropped overnight and our winged friends made breakfast a limited pleasure.

Getting ready to depart


Looking towards Mallaig from campsite

We had a break at Doune on Knoydart then pushed on to Loch Nevis.


Loch Nevis
Ardintigh (Tom Maclean's Adventure Centre)

Given that it is totally isolated, there is a surprisingly large and active community around Tarbet and the Kyles leading into the upper loch. The tide flows through the Kyles at 5 knots; too fast to paddle against. We arrived just as the tide turned and started flowing in. The result is that if we went on we could not get out again for 6 hours. Given our schedule we had to turn. Even then it was a struggle to do the few hundred metres against the incoming tide.

Back up at Inverie we began the search for a campsite. The dominant factor was midges and the need for a good fire to keep them at bay. The choice between the established site in Inverie and a rough site a km further back was won by the rough site, which in retrospect was probably a mistake. A night paddle was as much an escape from midges as a trip to the pub.

Campsite on Knoydart

Day 3: Inverie-Mallaig 10km (7mi) Mallaig -Morar 6km (4mi)

A quick paddle to Inverie for an ice cream. Knoydart is an excellent example  of a community buy out. The struggling village of 25 years ago is now  busy, thriving and beautiful.



A wonderful morning and a gentle paddle to a beach just short of Mallaig.

AsA short visit to Mallaig, where two other kayak groups were parked up on the beach, and then on to Morar arriving just as the weather broke at 4pm. Another excellent trip.

Paddling up the river back to the car