Returning from Rum

Perhaps it was the effect of a long week and a long drive that preceded our crossing to Rum, or perhaps the gusting wind that picked up through the night and rushed across the headland that morning - whatever the reason I felt far from inclined to rush back onto the water and as the wind settled around F5, so I settled for a day ashore. We'd missed the tides in any case.
Later, I walked across the headland to the ruin of Samhnan Insir that sits above another equally beautiful beach with long views to Skye and Knoydart.
The red deer population on Rum has been the subject of extended research, focused in the area of Kilmory. Certainly the deer we saw were mostly quite unconcerned by our presence, wandering by the tents and within a few feet of me as I walked on the beach.
By late afternoon the winds eased and warm sunshine burned off the clag and a paddle seemed infinitely more appealing.
Exploring the northern coastline at a relaxed pace, a number of recesses in the cliffs opened into good sized caves...
...before we came across the wreck of the 150ft French trawler, Jack Abry II, which ran aground in a gale in February 2011.
At high water, it is possible to paddle between the wreck and the cliffs, and in places, above the steeply angled deck.
We continued along the coast for some distance before the winds increased once more and while it was never that strong - F4/5 - I was pleased not to be slogging back into it at the end of 40km day.
Finally, late that evening the forecast calm returned - a view from the point of the return trip the next morning.
I spent the last of the light on the beach, completely absorbed by the scene...
...attempting some longer exposures before the midges descended and forced a retreat to the tent.
On the water early, we made the most of the light winds, returning from Rum to Glenbrittle in just under two and half hours... arrive just as the tide reached its lowest - the River Brittle saving us from what would have been a long and unpleasant carry to end the trip. As it was, we dragged the boats through the shallows to take off where we had put on, on the shingle at the foot of The Cuillin.
A second trip to Rum is assured, perhaps three - there remains the circumnavigation to complete and I doubt I will resist the call of the Rum Cuillin for long.


MC said…
Hi Will

Excellent photos as usual, capturing the magical north end of Rum.

That was a big undertaking from Skipton – it must be 9 hours each way!

No wonder you were both tired when you arrived on Rum.

Your camp spot was perfect as was the weather when we arrived, the best part of Sunday….

BTW nice Rockpool GT – stable mates :)

I think I can see Andy and me in the top left corner of your 3rd photo – taken just before your late afternoon paddle.

The size of the Jack Abry II took us by surprise – it’s a big boat – can’t imagine the terror that must have been felt by the crew as she foundered.

Our journey to Soay was fab, a lively sea after the afternoon wind, bright sunshine and a not too strong headwind. Soay campsite choice was not so good… that’s another story.

Overall impressions of our paddle around Rum, forecast incorrect (much higher winds) a wild committing coast with beautiful northern beaches, loads of wildlife from Sea Eagles to rats!

Best bit of the weekend?

Pod of around 20 dolphins joined us in Soay Sound….awesome, haven’t stopped smiling.

Will we go back to Rum – yes.

If interested some of our photos are here

Hope to meet you again – we owe you a boat carry up a beach, you were too quick in lining up the Glenbrittle river, we were about to come to your rescue with our trolley. Honest!!

Kind Regards
Will Herman said…
Hi Bill,

I wondered how you'd got on crossing back to Soay - wind picked up again right on cue and seemed stronger late afternoon than it was in the morning.

Some lovely shots from your trip. I was a little disappointed not to go up the west coast of Rum but I think we made the best of the weekend anyway. Hard to argue with a couple of nights above the beach at Kilmory - beautiful.

Hopefully heading north again over the next couple of weeks - maybe see you on the water again sometime soon.