Making the most of the weather…


We’d been preparing for a trip around Mull all Summer; clocking up the miles to build on stamina, rescue and towing practice, purchasing extra kit, marking tidal streams and laminating maps, bagging up 9 days rations into waterproof packs.

Unfortunately the day before departure the forecast looked like this…

Saturday – SSW  Gales / Rain
Sunday –  SW  >20mph / Dry
Monday – S  Gales / Rain
Tuesday – W  Near Gales / Dry
Wednesday – NW/W – OK as High comes through / Dry
Thursday – S  Gales / Rain

…and so that was that! The forecast for the week was F7 and above for all but 2 days…  A circumnavigation of Mull was abandoned, for this year at least.

Saturday : Port Appin – Glencoe

With the strong S/SW wind we decided on a trip against the tide, wind on our backs, along Loch Linnhe.  Leaving Port Appin was a shock to the system with a lumpy crossing to Inn Island at the N end of Lismore. We played for a while in the tide running between the islands…

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Passing the W coast of Shuna Island, and stopping for lunch on Eilean Balnagowan, we had an enjoyable surf all the way up Loch Linnhe. I was feeling pretty worn down (physically) by the time we reached Loch Leven, and the familiar sights of home…

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Unfortunately I’ve lost my GPS track, the distance covered was about 30Km

Wednesday : Torsa, Luing & Shuna

An early gathering in Ellenabeich on Seil with a view to doing the Corryvreckan confirmed that the winds were stronger than expected. The tide runs strong in these parts, especially in the triangle around  Belnahua, Fladda and Ormsa, and is best avoided when the wind is picking up.

A change of plan: We drove down to Cuan Sound and opted for a more sheltered paddle on the E side of Luing…

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We were 3 days after spring tide and the ebb was running strongly through Cuan Sound. Practising breaking in and out of the flow, and ferry gliding across a particularly strong flow near cliet rock; suddenly I was peering at the fish…  my hat (from Zermatt) floated off and two attempts at rolling in the aerated water failed. I went for a swim.

I’d opted not to wear a drysuit, luckily my semi-dry combination let in minimal water and a quick rescue later I was sitting in an eddy pumping out. “We’re all between swims”…

By contrast, the paddle down the E side of Luing and Shuna Sound was sedate and uneventful.

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We pulled in at the Southern tip of Luing on Rubh Aird Luing for lunch. The sun made an appearance and we were greeted with a fine view across to Scarba, the Corryvreckan (left) and the Grey Dogs (middle-right)…

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…the Grey Dogs (left) and Lunga…

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Following lunch we crossed to Shuna and headed back to Cuan for another play in the current and a good ferry glide back to the launch point in the sound.

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Trip Odom : 24.3Km
Moving Time : 4h 39min
Moving Average 5.2Km/h
Max Speed : 14.0Km/h

About Andy Harpur

Interests : The Scottish Highlands, The Pennine Alps, The Milky Way, Abbot Ale, Mountaineering, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Sea Kayaking, Astronomy, Guitar, Penny Whistle. I live and breath for the outdoor lifestyle. New places, new faces, new adventures....
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