4th of August, 2011 – St Kilda Trip, Day 6 – Boreray Circumnavigation

Last day of the trip and a change in the weather with some cloud lying lower than the high tops of the archipelago. After breakfast and a forecast, we set off for Boreray for a paddle we had discussed the night before with growing excitement. This may have been the best of the trip but it is hard to say, 7km, 2 hours and the best paddling I have done to date quite possibly.

After crossing from Hirta, we got ourselves on the water on the south side of Boreray and headed in to some caves which were atmospheric enough but the views out were amazing too, the massive Stac Lee and Hirta and Soay beyond it were framed by their entrances. Gannets swarmed above us in to the mist above and the cliffs were high enough to fade away out of sight as well. It is hard to fathom the scale of the stacs but having been close to Bass Rock (in the Firth of Forth) and knowing these are bigger it puts things in perspective. Paddling alongside and looking up 200m at ever diminishing gannets is great fun in swell and it is hard to believe some unfortunate souls spent nine months living on one of these through tragedy.

Despite its height (170m), Stac Lee is dwarfed by Boreray's cliffs

Setting off on out paddle with the gannets above

The view back to Dun, Hirta and Soay

Another stunning cave with a view, Stac Lee and Hirta and Soay beyond

Boreray's towering cliffs

Stac Lee

Stac Lee with Dun, Hirta and Soay behind

Heading for Stac an Armin (200m), home to thousands of gannets and at one point eleven poor souls

Boreray from the north on our way over from Stac an Armin

Gannets, the scene above for most of our circumnavigation of Boreray and the stacs

Almost full circle, the Cuma lying in front of, and dwarfed by Stac Lee

Just one of many amazing caves

The small gap in our last cave of the trip

Stac Lee

From the stacs our circumnavigation of Boreray continued at a relaxed pace with only the best looking caves being explored and the last being a great one to end with. Entering a deep cave, I was surprised at the back to find some light quite away off to my left. Once closer I could see that there was enough space to paddle through if no swell came in (lucky with the low tide height) so through I went back out along a narrow passage, not once but three times. A great end to a short morning’s paddling which preceded our return journey to Lewis and with it the end of a great trip.

Looking back on our return to Lewis


2 Responses to “4th of August, 2011 – St Kilda Trip, Day 6 – Boreray Circumnavigation”

  1. Loooks like a brilliant trip. Great photos. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Gordon, it was a great trip and is definitely a place worth a visit.

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