Coll and Tiree - Balephuil Bay to Soa

Waking to another calm and overcast morning, there was little hurry to depart - a low swell could be seen breaking on the reefs beyond the bay but the beach and the channel through which we had landed remained calm. By mid-morning we were crossing the wide expanse of the bay, heading directly for Eilean Mór and the skerries that mark the start of the last significant headland that we would turn on the trip.
There followed a wonderful section of paddling with some interesting water among the skerries and we made quick progress, picking up the north-east going stream as we turned the southern tip of Tiree.
Stopping briefly beneath what is now the Skerryvore lighthouse museum and repaired signal tower...
...there followed the crossing of Hynish Bay. What swell remained passed lazily under the hull as we plugged on, the breeze dying away completely to leave an oily calm and complete quiet. I sat awhile, drifting in the tide, soaking in the silence before pushing on toward our second landing at Scarinish.
Another short crossing followed and soon enough we were ferrying across Gunna Sound, heading for our third camp on Soa - an intriguing island, carpeted in blue bells and wild primrose.
As we pitched camp, the skies cleared giving stunning views towards the Treshnish Isles and again, the Dutchman's Cap...
...bringing back memories of our trip around Mull last September.
Watching the terns and listening to the snipe and seals below, it was another idyllic camp.
All that remained was the short stretch back to Arinagour and the ferry, and all day in which to do it. In fact the circumnav. of Coll and Tiree could very easily have been completed in three days, and the crossing back to Ardnamurchan and Kilchoan made on the fourth, but I was happy with our choice and looked forward to a lazy morning around camp before a relaxed paddle to complete the circle and return to Oban on the ferry.


Anonymous said…
Just fantastic :-)
Ian Johnston said…
Days like these are what memories are made from Will- what a superb trip you had!

Kind regards

Will Herman said…
Thanks Mike / Ian - we'd waited a long time for suitable weather window to coincide with A/L for Coll and Tiree - worth the wait!