The Summer Isles

While summer appeared to have been and gone and despite this being plan B, I was looking forward to exploring those islands amongst the Summer Isles that I had not yet visited.
Image: Tim Pearson
Leaving the beach beneath Altandhu...
...we quickly passed Isle Ristol and crossed first towards Eilean Mullagrach.
Around the northern tip of the island the swell was breaking with some power across the reefs...
Image: Tim Pearson
...while the deep channels beneath the west facing cliffs provided good sport - heavy clapotis beyond making our run south a wet and exciting affair.
Crossing to Glas-leac Mor, I passed a raft of puffins - this individual the first of the year.
During the short crossing the persistent clag began to lift with short bursts of sun lighting the flanks of the Coigach mountains.
The dull skies persisted however as we passed the distinctive Stac Mhic Aonghais...
...landing after a thoroughly enjoyable downwind run, on the shingle spit that joins Carn Iar and Carn Deas. Stepping from the boat I was bemused to find myself being watched curiously by eleven common seals.
Back on the water, we headed first for Eilean Dubh...
...by which time the sun had burnt through the clag to light the west facing cliffs...
...after which another crossing of 3km lead directly to the well known arch on the south-eastern tip of Tanera Beg. Conditions and low tides have never allowed me to paddle through the narrow passage here - the perspective from 'the other side' of this wonderfully sculptured feature being quite different.
With the sun rapidly approaching the horizon, we passed through the skerries and crossed back towards Caolas Eilean Ristol...
...a beautiful full moon rounding off a full day.

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