Scotland, September 2008

Subsets Of Scotland, September 2008
Back To Scotland, September 2008
Kayaking Off Ulva - 16th to 19th
Kayaking Off Ulva - 16th to 19th
Ben Nevis - 22nd
Ben Nevis - 22nd

Kayaking Off Ulva - 16th to 19th

Photos from a kayaking trip off Ulva, which is off the Isle Of Mull. After a fairly short paddle from Ulva Ferry on Mull, we set up or campsite above a little beach on Ulva, with nobody for miles around. The next day, we did a day trip to Staffa, and kayaked into Fingal's cave which was pretty cool, especially seeing last time we tried to get to Staffa in a tourist boat, we failed. This time we got to walk smugly around on the island having got there in kayaks, while boat loads of tourists trudged round the island. One woman asked "tell me, how did you get your kayaks here?" Er... how do you think? The evening was dry, and back at our campsite, we had a fire on the beach.

The next day was quite rough, and had been nicknamed Grim Thursday long before lunchtime, just half way through the crossing to Mull. A two hour constant paddle in a force 5 wind and waves of over a metre had us almost totally drained by the time we stopped for lunch on Mull. We then walked for over an hour to see a fossilised tree, walked back to the kayaks, carried them miles back to the sea as the tide had gone out, and paddled back the long way in sea that was getting rougher and rougher. Several hours later, we paddled into the bay by our campsite feeling utterly exhausted, but exhilarated, satisfied and pleased that nobody fell in. We were drenched through, cold and hungry, it was blowing a gale and the tents were damp and cold. There were obviously no showers, but at least we had dry clothes, a stove and some food to cook. We would have had two stoves, but Richard had forgotten the burner for his. We spilled dinner before serving it, and to top it all, all we had to drink was McEwen's Export. Grim Thursday indeed.

After a surprisingly good sleep, we woke up to a much nicer day, though still a bit rough, and set off back to Mull the long way, by paddling round pretty much all of Ulva. Apart from the west coast of Ulva, where the sea was quite wild and frightening, it was a beautiful relaxing paddle back to Ulva Ferry.

I've made it all sound a bit grim, especially with the description of Grim Thursday, but it really felt that bad at the time. We'd all still do it again though. We love a challenge, love to survive in vile conditions, and above all it makes the story more interesting afterwards. We have even more gruelling trips planned for next year! Don't we? Hello, anyone there?

Route Map Richard's Lighter Than Air Packing, Ulva Ferry, Mull Landing On Ulva Tomorrow's Target, Staffa, From Ulva Campsite You Can Get A Lot Of Crisps In A Kayak Camping On Ulva Bac Mòr From Ulva Sunset From Ulva, Bac Mòr On Left Moon And Clouds, Ulva Roof Of Fingal's Cave, Staffa Tony And Bridget, Fingal's Cave, Staffa Tony And Bridgit Exiting Fingal's Cave, Staffa Basalt Columns, Staffa Kayaks In Clamshell Cave, Staffa Basalt Columns, Staffa Campfire On Beach, Ulva Richard In Search Of McCulloch's (Fossilised) Tree, Mull McCulloch's (Fossilised) Tree, Mull Angry Sea Promises Entertaining Run Up West Coast Of Ulva Luke At Lunchstop On West Ulva Richard At Lunchstop On West Ulva