Saturday, January 03, 2009
Tides and otters in the Sound of Jura.
We arrived at Carsaig Bay just as the sun was coming up. It was high water and all looked calm. The bay is a sheltered inlet off the Sound of Jura but across its mouth the waters surge back and forwards through the Dorus Mor and the Corryvreckan tide races at speeds of 4 to 9 knots. It is very helpful to consult a set of tide tables before launching here, unless one is prepared to enjoy a magical mystery tour to these two most interesting of sea kayaking destinations.
As it was, the ebb had just started and we were carried south to a group of most attractive islands. Here we are in the sheltered narrow channel between Eilean Traighe and Eilean Dubh.
Further on, the tide was running strongly through the channel between Eilean Fraoch and Eilean nan Coinean as we ferried across the narrow gap between them.
It was very pleasant having tidal assistance as we made our way down the rocky shore of the Sound of Jura at a steady 7-8km/hr with only light paddling.
As we neared the point of Rubha na Cille, we caught our first sight of our destination on the horizon, the MacCormaig Islands. We also spotted a disturbance in the water ahead. It was two young otters playing a pretty violent looking game of tag with one another. They were not particularly bothered by our presence!