Monday, 11 July 2011

Choppy Soay for lunch!

We made a rendezvous with Cuma for lunch in the Sound of Soay.  Conditions at the entrance to the sound were choppy, and the tide was still running strongly through the sound.  A break would mean paddling through near to slack water.  There's no anchorage here, the cliffs of Soay and An Campar drop sheer into the sea.  The practice we'd had boarding and launching via Cuma's inflatable now paid off as we formed the strangest lunch queue any of us had experienced.

In another display of consummate seamanship, Murdani took Cuma close in to the cliffs of Soay.  He knew that there was an eddy which was almost slack and he positioned her to take advantage.  With the engine trickling ahead and the helm hard to port, Cuma described a tight circle in calm water.  We queued up and boarded, passing each kayak on a towline to the stern.

All safely aboard, we tucked into lunch and also took the opportunity for a comfort break.  This is another great advantage of using Cuma as a base; the coast of Hirta and the crossing to Boreray are both, individually, very committing paddles.  With Cuma in support is became possible to do both in a day.  For me, lunch was more nervous than for most - I'd tied the knot holding £25K of kayaks and kit to Cuma!

Our slowly revolving restaurant had one of the finest views imaginable.  Soay and An Campar loomed over us and ahead lay the stacs of the Sound of Soay, with Stac an Armin and the edge of Boreray just visible.

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