On the Waters Round Mull

Friday
With very few weekends free for play in the past few months, a paddle on a Friday was a real bonus after some earlier ‘business’, on Mull of all places.

I set off on the ferry from Tobermory for Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, somewhere I’ve not been to for too long and am long overdue a proper visit. This can’t really count though, as I was on the water again within ten minutes and didn’t stray beyond the slipway.

Ben Hiant

Ben Hiant from Tobermory

Kilchoan slipway

Kilchoan slipway

From the water I got a new perspective on the coastline extending from Kilchoan along past Mingarry Castle (under major renovation) and Ben Hiant to Camas nan Geall.

Mingarry Castle and Ben Hiant

Mingarry Castle and Ben Hiant

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From there I crossed to Auliston Point on the Morvern peninsula for a quick break and swim before following the coast to the first houses of Drimmin. A quick green cross code (look left and right…) before crossing the Sound of Mull directly, back towards Tobermory, this time passing through the narrow channel between the sheltering island of Calve and Mull itself. A lovely spot in the weakening sun with lots of heron fishing in the quietest part of the bay.

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Saturday
Despite a red sky at night, a significant change in weather came in on Saturday, quite a change from the previous day, with some of the heaviest rain I think I have ever seen.

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By evening, the weather had reverted to the good stuff again – and I settled on a great camp spot by a cliff edge, looking over Loch na Keal, the island of Eorsa and Ben More beyond. After a walk to higher ground for views to the north, I settled to watch the the changing light on the hills as the sun set behind me. As the sea below me was flat calm, anything that moved was quickly checked out in my binoculars and my attention was drawn to disturbances in the water, that looked like something below was corralling fish with bubbles. Dolphins soon revealed themselves to be the culprits, with one jumping above the surface.

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Loch Na Keal, Eorsa and Ben More behind

Loch Na Keal, Eorsa and Ben More behind

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Sunday
I set my alarm with the intention of catching sun rising over Ben More, but actually woke before it to find the full moon rising instead and an almost day lit scene over the loch despite it being between 2am and 3am (I think). Tiredness and no impressive sunrise meant I never bothered getting up till a much more social hour, yet I was still down at Ulva Ferry launching myself on a jaunt round the islands of Ulva and Gometra by 9am.

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The winds that had vanished the previous evening were back almost immediately and I abandoned thoughts of the other islands, Inch Kenneth and Little Colonsay, I had had in my sights. Hard work got me round to the outside of the islands and hard work got me back to my start point, eventually, with a frustrating amount of effort required, but I was rewarded with views, wildlife (birds and a curious otter) and a lunch of langoustines at Ulva’s cafe. To rub salt in wounds, the wind died completely the minute I was off the water for the day.

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Otter

Otter

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