Saturday, July 11, 2009

Coll, calm and collected; crossing the Sound

By now my dislocated knee had swollen to the size of a melon and the pain was nearly unbearable. David, Jennifer and Jim carried my kayak to the water's edge and carefully lifted me in. I had a full ten litre water bag on the cockpit floor, which I used to support my knee. The others then carried their own boats through the narrow slot in the rocks of Coll. I am pleased to say that the ringed plovers and their chick were now ignoring us and we left them in to have their beach in peace. We now call this place Plover Beach!

It would take us about 3 hours to make the crossing so our initial vector had to take account of the average about 3km/hr tidal flow to our left (north). We set off towards the Sound of Mull which is some 6km up tide from Ardnamurchan point.

I did not feel like taking many photos on the crossing but I could not resist this shot of the P&H Cetus's fine bow lines. The colour of the boat also matched the conditions perfectly!

As we progressed across the Sound of Coll, the wind dropped and the skies cleared. Our passage was enlivened by flocks of swirling shearwaters that wheeled round and round us.

Despite being distracted by the pain in my knee, I was quite pleased with our ferry angle across the Sound. You can see places where we stopped for a rest and the tide carried us northwards at 3km/hr. We hit a stronger current as we approached Ardnamurchan Point.