Imagine you are at the edge of the sea on a day when it is difficult to say where the land ends and the sea begins and where the sea ends and the sky begins. Sea kayaking lets you explore these and your own boundaries and broadens your horizons. Sea kayaking is the new mountaineering.
Our trip round Tiree came to an end and we landed on this little beach beside the ferry pier at Gott Bay. Although the map shows rock, it is all sand right up to a steep grassy bank then an opening gate...
...to the ferry queuing area. The Calmac office has toilets, water and a tourist information touch screen computer.
Once you have checked in with the ferry staff you need to take the kayaks out to the end of the pier. By the time you do this and get the kayaks onto the car deck you will have covered 0.5km so...
...trolleys can save the smart (but casual) sea kayaker's composure.
Through the link-span, we could just see Loti as she made her way round the isle of Soa that lies off the east end of Tiree. The pier at Gott Bay was first built in 1914 then extended in the 1950's. Full roll on roll off service was not introduced until the link-span was built in 1992.
Loti, or to use her full Sunday name MV Lord of the Isles, was built in 1989 and although she has full Roro, using her bow and stern doors, initially vehicles had to use her side ramps and lift to get off at Tiree. Her sister ship MV Clansman, which also serves the route, was built in 1998. As this was after the Tiree link-span had been completed she does not have side doors or car lift.
All too soon we were aboard Loti and Tiree quickly slipped away over the horizon and into our memories.