A New Year and Old Favourites

A few years ago, the skerries west of Arisaig were the focus of one of the best early paddles I was lucky enough to enjoy.
In 2011, it remains one of my favourite areas in which to paddle; what better way to start a new year than with an old favourite such as this.
Having seen the new year in at the Glenuig Inn, we launched opposite the skerries; an open boat and sea kayak making an unusual team but allowing for a few extra luxury items to help pass the long night ahead. Quickly round the headland we pulled in at the perfect beach beyond Eilean Pot nam Murrach.
Leaving the same beach after which we rounded Eilean a Ghaill, where two deer were laid on a small outcrop in the distance. As I watched, first one then the other slowly unfurled huge wings and lifted heavily into the air...as the perspective shifted I realised we were looking at two sea eagles.
I failed to capture any good images but we saw these huge birds several times as they moved along the shore ahead of us.
The first night of the year was spent happily ensconsed in the appropriately named Eyrie, a tiny bothy perched dramatically on the low cliffs hereabouts.
Having explored the islands north of An Glas-Eliean we paddled offshore, enjoying a calm and tranquil morning before a quick stop at Eilean an t-Sidhe where the seals were strangley absent.
We found them later, amongst the skerries...
...the Cuillin providing a dramatic backdrop...
...before we recrossed the South Channel to end the first trip of 2011.

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