Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A rough crossing to the Rough Islands.

The weather forecast for the long weekend was pretty poor but there was to be a brief weather window on the Sunday. After an early start, David, Jennifer, Tony and I made our way up to the Island of Seil. Our plan was a dry trip to the Garvellach Islands that lie in the tides that sweep between Scarba and Mull. We were on the water in time to catch the 10:15 ebb express for the Garvellachs!

With Insh and Mull on the horizon, we had a brief dally with the reefs at the north end of Easdale...

...before the tide carried us at a steady 7-8km/hr towards the SW and Dun Chonnuil, the nearest island. Jura and distant Islay lay away to the SW.

The water was calm in the light winds, but Jennifer remembered the last time we were here...

...imagine a very rough sea at this point! My camera was firmly in its waterproof bag and it was even too rough to take a photo with the little one handed waterproof Sony! The ebb tide flows SW down the SE coast of the Garvellachs but when the tide is running at its maximum, an eddy flows NE up the NW coast of Dun Chonnuil. Where this meets the main flow there is very confused water. Our progress slowed from about 8km/hr with gentle paddling down to 2km/hr with vigorous paddling down the NW side of Dun Chonnuil. Bracing as they say!

Fortunately it didn't last long and we were soon in calmer water as we...

... approached the wooded slopes of the NE end of Garbh Eileach, the largest island, after which the Garvellachs take their name. It means the Rough Island.

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