Thursday, November 05, 2009

A raised beach on Loch Tarbert, Jura

We had reached half way to the head of Loch Tarbert in Jura. We were by the first of two tidal narrows which restrict access to the inner recesses of the loch. The water here was not very salty and was stained brown by peat but there was no sign of a river.

We emerged onto the huge raised beach of Camas Nam Meann which is a favourite spot of mine.

The pebbles which make up this beach rise in a huge bank 30m above current sea level.

They then descend to 18m and hold back the fresh but peat stained waters of Lochan Maol an t-Sornàich. The waters of the loch which gradually filter through this huge beach are the source of the peat stained water at the edge of Loch Tarbert,

A few patches of vegetation have managed to take root over the 10,000 years since the tides last reached this level.

From our vantage spot, we could see Oronsay (and its house) and Colonsay on the horizon. It would have been a lovely spot to have enjoyed a leisurely lunch. However, we still had 19km to paddle back to Port Askaig and our ferry was due leave in only a few hours.