Four days around Mull - Easedale (Seil) to the Treshnish Isles

Over the years I have enjoyed some fantastic paddling off the remarkably varied coastline of Mull - the best of which was perhaps four years ago when Tim, Chris and I enjoyed a dramatic trip along the south coast from Loch Spelve to Iona. It was then that I saw my first basking shark. We also saw sea eagles, golden eagles and dolphins, enjoyed the most beautiful of white sand beaches anywhere, were storm bound for a day as the wind ripped sheets of spray from the sea and got completely lost in what has been referred to as 'the interior' ever since (a maze of tunnels created by cattle, though otherwise impenetrable scrub that backed our beach camp, led Chris and I to a nearby low summit late one evening. Of course when dusk fell, finding those same tunnels to return was impossible...the antics that followed are too many to relate, suffice to say we have had many laughs at our own expense since.)  Anyway, it seemed about time to go all the way round.
With a settled forecast, Tim and I started from Easedale on Seil. It meant starting the trip with a crossing and was not the most obvious choice perhaps, but to our minds, time in the boats was preferable to extra time in the car. 
In fact we reached our objective for the day - one of many perfect bays just east of Uisken - in one push, running downwind on a gentle following sea. We covered the 37km in less than 4 hours, taking a couple of short breaks on the water. Great fun but there was a price to pay. Tendinitis - the result of jumping in a loaded boat after paddling less frequently this year and repeatedly putting in powerful strokes to catch waves that pushed our average speed up significantly. It would plague the rest of the trip but the usual anti-inflammatories kept the worst of the swelling and discomfort at bay.
After setting up camp I walked on the white sands, the only footprints our own, the sea an oily calm beyond.
Later - and discussion has turned to whiskies and the correct quantity to add to an evening brew. Tim's estimation seemed a little conservative and straight seemed more appropriate in any case.
A perfect morning on a perfect camp - not often is there a choice of beaches to launch from, and never from such clean sands into such clear seas.
Paddling close inshore - a rarity on this trip - beneath the distinctive granite that characterises the Ross of Mull...
...and enjoying the swell approaching the Sound of Iona - another rarity on this journey and one that we missed. It may well be tempting fate, but a combination of neap tides, minimal wind and very little ground swell detracted from what was otherwise beautiful paddling.
More typical conditions - leaving the north end of Iona, heading for the Dutchman's Cap, another crossing of 13km.
Watching and waiting for the whale - despite hearing it blow several times we never saw him and reluctantly continued north.
The Dutchman's Cap remained several kilometers distant and with the light now beginning to fail, it was clearly going to be tight reaching our intended camp on Lunga, a few kilometers further north-west still, before dark...

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