Outer Hebrides: Beyond Great Bernera - Day2

Waking to the sound of the sea washing on the sands below, I unzipped the tent and sat for a moment, watching tiny waves break on the beach; oyster catches strutting at the water's edge; the wind, gentle gusts ruffling the bay.
Beyond, Flodaigh and the islands to its north, our first objective for the day.
Leaving Bostadh and the breeze has freshened; heading east we pushed through the narrow channel, Camas Bostadh where the wind funnelled fiercely, forcing heads down as we pulled out to meet a white capped sea running from Loch Rog an Ear.
Turning north again we surfed in behind the skerries and entered the tranquil, unspoilt haven between Benera Beg and Cealasaigh.
I paddled slowly, absorbing the scene ahead. White sands glinted beyond turquoise waters...
...we had been on the water for less than an hour and yet it was impossible not to land and sit, at least for a while, in this incredible place.
As the others explored the lagoon I scrambled up above the dunes...
...every so often looking back and being stopped in my tracks each time, so arresting was the scene below.
With the best part of the day's paddling still to do, I tore myself reluctantly from the beach, now heading north west, on, towards the outermost island, Seana Chnoc.
In rapidly growing seas, now exposed to the swell, we turned in to run between the islands. With the westerly swell being funnelled into this narrow passage and with a F5 and some tide running against it, the sea state was rapidly increasing. The lumpy confused water of our approach to these outliers gave way to steep breaking waves as we committed to the channel. Bracing as a particularly steep wave reared up behind, the boat suddenly plunged into the trough burying the bow and for a second I thought I would be looped...
It passed quickly, the bow kicking free despite the load within and then suddenly we were through.
Beyond Bearasaigh the swell was still appreciable but now gentle by comparison; still, we gave the wild cliffs a respectable berth, no rock hopping out here!
As we returned towards Flodaigh the wind eased, the sun warmed and I relaxed...
...playing in the more sheltered rock gardens beyond.
I returned to take charge of the camera...
...as we tried to capture something of the essence of this wild place as waves washed the skerries, foam streaking the seas beneath the grandeur of Lewis' western hills.
Soon enough we turned south west, crossing An Caolas accompanied by puffins and gannets, heading for the northern headland of Pabaigh Beag...
...with its arch and lagoon beyond.
Off Pabaigh Mor's western cliffs, amidst the reefs the swell heaved and crashed and once more we were amidst broiling waters...
...before entering the calm of Caolas Phabaigh to return to the long white sands of Bhaltos and the end of a truly incredible journey on the edge of the Atlantic.

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