Friday, June 19, 2009

The Cairns of Coll

We made landfall at Suil Ghorm, one of the islets in the Cairns of Coll ,which lie isolated by the tide races to the north of Coll.

It was a relief to stop paddling in the shelter of the Cairns. It was just after springs and the tide was stongest just to the east of the Cairns. We came across lots of swirlies and boils and our final approach was complicated by strong eddies and counter eddies.

Within the Cairns grey seals bask on every available rock ledge.

These two otters were completely oblivious to our passage as they devoured a recently caught fish.

We took a welcome break on these stunning white sands. I went for a swim in crystal clear water but did not last long as the icy water gripped my muscles.

To warm up, I climbed to the top of the islet. As there were no sheep or rabbits, the summit was covered in a blaze of wild flowers which smelled so fragrant after the salty air of the crossing.

In the distance, the Suil Ghorm light house stands guard over the channel to Rum.