We'd seen a forecast for relatively light winds in a three day window for the west coast of Scotland, coupled with bright sunshine. This was clearly too good to miss!
It will be well worth also following the story of our trip on Douglas' blog - with much better photos than mine! :o)
Douglas, Mike and I convened at the Glenuig Inn on a Sunday evening, nicely in time for a pint of real ale in front of the fire prior to dinner. The Glenuig Inn is both perfectly situated and superbly set up to cater for sea kayakers in comfort, with excellent accommodation and food. The proprietor, Steve, is also a sea kayak guide and has plenty of tips and information.
Our plan was hatched over dinner; to travel just about as far west as it's possible to do, then paddle back along the north side of the Ardnamurchan peninsula. After breakfast, we left a car at our intended finishing point and drove the 40-odd miles to Portuairk. If you do this trip, don't underestimate the drive, the short distance takes around 2 hours to drive on a very twisty road.
There's space to park a couple of vehicles at Portuairk and it's a relatively short carry to the water.
We were soon sorted and prepared to set off on our day's paddle. At Spring tides, a trolley will be pretty much essential for access here.
As soon as we emerged from the sandy channel, a glance to the left showed Ardnamurchan lighthouse a few kilometres to the west, the most westerly point of the British mainland. We also became immediately aware of the low swell and a quite gusty south-easterly wind blowing down off the higher ground of the peninsula.
Our first destination wasn't far way at all. We paddled a couple of kilometres to the east and landed on the beautiful white sand beaches of Sanna Bay.
It may seem strange to have paddled less than half an hour before landing, but we were well aware that this would be our last landing spot for a good way along the route. This is truly the Wild West for sea kayaking and you need to grab every advantage!