Raasay, Rona and the Crowlin Islands - April 2008

Raasay and Rona had long been on the cards and with 3 clear days, a reasonable forecast and two keen companions, the trip was on.
The highlight was probably rounding the northern tip of Rona beneath dramatic skies, the east coast of Skye standing proud across the sound, but it would take some effort to get there...
Leaving Tianavaig Bay, the wind was fresher than expected and we punched into a good F4 before hitting the narrows where the south going tide, against the wind, was producing some choppy water with breaking waves to around 3 or 4ft.
I found it exhilarating and was bemused to catch up with Chris, grinning manically with his paddle over his shoulder.
Leaving the chop behind we crossed first to Scalpay and then with rolling waves running across our beam, to the Crowlin Islands, a long gravel spit providing an ideal camp.
Our second day dawned calm if misty, perfect for an atmospheric and longish crossing to Raasay, (taking a north west heading, the crossing was approximately 20km) to land in a small cove where we topped up water supplies before heading up to the northern tip of Raasay and our second camp.
With the tents up we crossed the channel and completed the circuit of Rona, the northern tip of this remote island and its lunar landscapes being particularly dramatic, an eerie calm prevailing amongst the skerries.
The sun finally appeared on our third day and with a fresh easterly breeze to keep us cool we headed south along the western shore of Raasay, exploring the bays and caves before crossing the sound once more, to return to Tianavaig Bay.