Paddlers: Dave and Geoff
Weather: Sunny and Breezy (F3) from SW.
Report: With the previous weekend trip cancelled because of the wind the possibility of a day trip in reasonable weather was welcome, albeit in a limited time frame. The location was flexible but the sea and swell was preferred and a planned trip out of Ganavan (Oban) north was resurrected. However high spring tides generated by the solar eclipse were expected to generate a strong southerly tide (2.5knots) just as we would have been heading north so we decided to head to the same area from the north.
As we came across the mountains the weather was terrible and the mountains stayed covered for the rest of the day. We headed for South Shian on Loch Creran which provided an excellent launch point
The entrance to Loch Creran was characterised by a series of tide races that shot us on southwards, albeit with some excitement as the boat was tossed around in the swirls. On the open sea the strong tide was met by a strong breeze (top end of F3) that led to a relatively bumpy ride, with frequent white horses.
Midway down stands an island, Eilean Dubh (small black island), which looks impregnable from a distance. As we got near however we could see a small beach and decided to visit.
The island itself is covered with impenetrable undergrowth. Only kayakers could land and very few would want to! So after lunch we headed on down south towards Camas Nathais, an attractive inlet topped by a lovely sand bay. For reference there is also a lovely camp site here.
The tide had now turned so, after another break, we had a fast passage back up towards Loch Creran, stopping only to investigate the passage between Isle Eriskay and the mainland. We had hoped to use this but the channel , although past mid water was simply not deep enough. It should be runnable at high tide.
Instead we shot round into Loch Creran with an exciting run on the flow at the end of the islets Sgurr Caileach. We arrived back at the launch point having covered around 28km tide assisted in less than 6.5hrs with about 1.5 hrs lazing onshore. A good day’s paddle.