One old man and two not so young men - around the Point of Stoer

Almost exactly ten years ago, Paul and I climbed the Old Man of Stoer - I distinctly remember watching a seal flash through the channel as I peered down from the top having completed the classic route (with one rather exciting variation). It was one of those moments that sowed the seed of an idea, to kayak around this imposing headland. Following our climb, I think Paul remarked it was a route that should be compulsory. If it should, then for kayakers, so too should the paddle. Both contain all that is best in each sport.
Above the beach at Clachtoll, split rock on the far side of the bay a familiar sight, this being a place I have been visiting for some 15 years now. Then, the campsite above the beach was simply an area of sheep cropped grass, the public toilet some 100m away the only facilities. I think I preferred it then. I should acknowledge that the current owner Jim - a real live wire - remains the most welcoming and helpful proprietor of any site I have stayed at.
From Clachtoll we stayed off shore, crossing the broad Balchladich Bay heading directly for the headland on which the lighthouse sits. In the remarkably calm conditions, I had high hopes of seeing a whale. We didn't. But several people did. Four of them in fact - orcas - the sighting recorded here
After a short break on a small shell sand beach beneath the headland, we paddled beneath the lighthouse, with only the gentlest of swell washing the slabs below.
Heading for the caves mid-way between the lighthouse and the point itself.
We explored two large caves, reaching far into the cliffs before returning to the warmth of the sun and heading north towards the Old Man.
Weaving amongst the many blocks that litter the sea beneath these cliffs, before passing through the channel beneath the stack itself. I stared up at the line we had climbed, our route finding error (explained in the post linked to above) obvious enough from below.
From the Old Man, it was but a short stretch to the Point of Stoer, the start of our crossing to Oldany Island - the low lying point just visible though it was only 6km away - and our camp. It would prove to be an interesting night.

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