Top Gigha

One of those trips that has been planned for many years and put off time and again - sometimes because of poor weather but more usually and quite simply because of its position which requires a rather singular focus, nevertheless Gigha was ideal for our purposes on this weekend of brilliant sun and blue skies.
Waking up to the familiar sound of the tent flapping in the wind as a brisk easterly pushed across the Sound of Bute, I'd wondered whether the forecast had changed once again. Looking towards Arran from our camp, the sea was a mess of white caps running before a cold wind - nothing to be overly concerned about but definitely a day for the drysuit. Arriving a little later on the opposite side of the peninsula, we began loading the boats still dressed for a chill morning. And as if on cue, the wind dropped, the temperature soared and out came the shorty cags. Result.
Launching from the ferry terminal at Tayinloan we crossed quickly with a gentle tail wind, heading first for the southern tip of Gigha and then south again to Cara Island.
An idyllic spot and by the time we'd walked up to the Brownie's Chair - the low summit at the southern end of the island - the wind had disappeared altogether.
Looking south beneath a strong sun - pretty much a constant for the entirety of the trip - towards Ireland. So clear was the air it was possible not only to see its northern coastline, but headland after headland to the west.
Islay and Jura formed our western horizon - we spent some time here just soaking it all in before heading back to the boats... paddle beneath the low cliffs of the Mull of Cara...
...and on up the west coast of Gigha, the paps of Jura dominating the view.
A beautiful if uneventful stretch of paddling brought us by late afternoon to the beach and dunes inside Eilean Garbh. 
The shape of this bay, open to the south west, means that it gathers not just the drift wood but every imaginable type of detritus our seas are now awash with - despite having seen the same in so many places, wild and otherwise pristine beaches so very obviously polluted, the result is no less shocking on each occasion.
You could easily be forgiven for thinking its neighbour, the north facing beach of the tombolo separating Eilean Garbh from Gigha, was somewhere else entirely rather than a few short strides away.
Sunset beyond Islay and Jura that evening gave way to a cool clear night, the stars brilliant, the only sound that of the snipe and gentle wash of the sea on the white sands below.
We were away in good time the next morning...
...launching in the clear seas, once more beneath a sun already strong.
A fresh breeze from the north-east rapidly dropped as we rounded Sgeir Fhiacail, the northern tip of Gigha, leaving us to make the return crossing on glassy seas, looking south to Cara and less clearly this time but still discernible on the distant horizon, Ireland's northern coastline.


Ian Johnston said…
That's absolutely beautiful Will, one of those "days like these" trips?!

Kind Regards