Roughly 3 years ago Annie and I launched fully laden kayaks from the shore just North of Appin with the intention of a 2 day circumnavigation of Lismore.  I guess (hopefully !) I’ve learnt a lot over the last 3 years.  There was a strong Northerly wind blowing over the flooding tide and within 100m of launching we knew conditions were more than we could handle. We ran away with our tails between our legs.

Little did we realise that we’d soon be living “just down the road”. During our time in Appin the only streetlight visible from our back garden at night was over 3Km away on the island of Lismore.

I’ve been patiently waiting for another attempt at circumnavigating the island.  My friend, Colin, sent out an e-mail and on Easter Sunday six of us gathered on a cold morning in Port Appin.


Winter has lingered long in Scotland (in fact most of the UK) this year. In recent years I’ve paddled through the Winter, but a combination of extensive DIY renovating our house, constant high Easterly winds and low temperatures have kept me off the water since November.  …Conditions outside haven’t been overly inspiring and I’ve been slowly going “stir crazy”.

Leaving Port Appin and passing Port Ramsay on Lismore you soon get a view across Loch Linnhe to the blot on the landscape, but one of the area’s biggest employers, Glensanda Super Quarry.


Glensanda is soon left behind and we approached the ruins of 13th century Castle Coeffin


Here’s Colin in his new 16 foot Rockpool Taran; which he seems to like very much Smile


The route down the West Coast of Lismore passes Salen…


…and we pulled in for second breakfast /first lunch in Bernera Bay near Achadun Castle.


I’m not sure what Colin and Gus were doing here, seems like a staff fight !


Almost 19Km from Port Appin we reached Lismore Light




Paddling along the West coast of the island we’d been protected from the F4 Easterly. Turning the corner for the return leg we were now exposed to a beam sea that was relentless for 3.5Km until we grabbed a quick respite in the sheltered waters of Miller’s Port.


The beam sea attrition continued (no chance what-so-ever of a photo)  and we pulled in at Achnacroish for second lunch. 28.5Km of paddling from Port Appin, I was feeling pretty cold and tired at this point.


The last leg of the journey followed, another 7Km back to Port Appin…


Date : 31 March 2013– 2 days after Spring Tide.
Oban : HW 07:54 LW 14:25 (GMT)
Max Speed : 9.4Km/h
Trip Odom : 35.7 Km
Moving Time : 6h 54min
Moving Average 5.2Km/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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