It had been a slog of a day, those northerly and north easterly winds have been very persistent. We had left our stunning campsite just north of Applecross around 9am and paddled north through the submarine training area between Raasay and the mainland. Just as we launched a helicopter buzzed low overhead and landed, must have dropped off MOD staff at the control station looking out over the training area. We were hoping we would see a sub surface (but not too close). I was reminded of a very funny joke my dad told me about a wireless operator on board a sub and a pair of cuff links. I told it to Geoff and we both giggled, but sorry, it’s Cert 18 rated I’m afraid. But ask me next time you see me.
After the first couple of hours the wind picked up again and as usual was in our faces for most of the rest of the day. But no complaints, the gorgeous scenery and wildlife make it all worthwhile. Whilst we have seen hundreds of seals on this trip we are always pleased to see them. They often appear behind us as we paddle by, so sometimes we’ll paddle backwards to catch them out and get a closer look and a photo.
Geoff has become the Bill Oddie of the expedition having now spotted 3 sea otters and 2 incredibly rare sea eagles.
The landscape has definitely changed since we paddled north of Skye. A little more rugged, fewer trees, and less protection from the Atlantic swell from the islands.
We were aiming for Melvaig. A small village just north of Gairloch. But first we needed to stock up on provisions. The rate at which we are eating and depleting our stores is quite scary. We saw a large camp site at Big Sand and guessed that it must have a shop, it would be the last we’d see for a couple of days. It did!
As 27 miles appeared on our GPS we could see Melvaig. We could also see the massive bolders on the beach. From a distance it looks like shingle but as you get closer you realise it is impossible to land on. Fortunately a brand new slipway had been built so we were able to land relatively easily and pull the kayaks up beyond the high tide mark.
Once we had cleared the sheep poo away from a nearby patch of grass we pitched the tents and got changed.
Imagine how jammy we felt when we walked up a steep path 100 yards and found the only pub for miles around. The Melvaig Inn was superb. Run by the ex sound man for Pink Floyd and Mark Knoffler, it has a very quirky and friendly feel to it.
So 1000 miles done and nearly half way!