Paddlers: Hugh, Jamie, Sue and Geoff
Weather: Wonderful. Breezy (F3/4) mostly sunny on Saturday; Cloudless and calm on Sunday
Report: This was intended as a paddle for those relatively new to sea expeditions (first or second time) but sadly none could make it. Having left Helensburgh slightly late we spent about an hour searching Roshven on Loch Ailort for a suitable place to launch. Having found one ideal spot we were accosted by a woman proclaiming it was a private road (it was not) and we could not leave the cars on her ground. Fortunately there was an excellent launch site just on the Glenuig side of Roshven and after lunch we were off into a pretty stiff breeze with a determined chop.
We made good progress and our first stop was an excellent beach just at the mouth of the north channel. This would also make an excellent camp site.
The scenery was breathtaking and got even better as we headed down the channel.
The channel dries at low water but not for long. From the exit (where we met three paddlers from the South) we headed for one of the best camp sites in the country. This is a glade site with excellent wood supplies and fantastic views. A pleasant evening around the fire led to an early evening and a cold, clear night
The morning was simply stunning; cloudless and flat calm. The views from the site were sensational in the morning sun.
The worst bit of the site is undoubtedly the low water launch where a carry over squidgy mud is required. However once through that and the paddle recommenced, within 5 minutes you come across the beautiful Castle Tioram.
The Castle is joined to the mainland by a tidal causeway and was the seat of the Clan Ranald. The inside was destroyed by fire in 1745 when the chief and his clan left to join Bonnie Prince Charlie and was never re-occupied. Recent attempts to rebuild and refurbish were prevented by Historic Scotland.
A short visit and we were off up Loch Moidart heading for the open sea past seals and, I am assured, otters. The scenery was stunning, the sun was hot, the sea was clam and all was wonderful as we rounded the headland and pulled up into Ardtoe. This is really simply a very minor road end with some caravans and a lovely beach. Lunch followed and some sun bathing and then off again round the outside of Eilean Shona.
Our next stop was an island close to the mouth of Glenuig Bay with lovely sandy beaches. A second lunch and more sun bathing.
The final paddle east was, like most of the trip, superb; indeed even the car trip back to Fort William and on through Glencoe was wonderful. All in all a fantastic trip