Sunday, 3 March 2013
A day in the wild west part 2 - Sanna Bay to Ockle
We left Sanna Bay and headed out past the skerries at the eastern end of the beach. The low but powerful swell was immediately apparent; for the next few kilometres we needed to be very aware of occasional "boomers" forming when bigger swells collapsed in on themselves over shallow reefs.
Ahead, the bold headland of Rubha Carrach dominated the view.
Rounding the point, the view ahead was of a series of headlands stretching into the distance. The point itself resembled the bow of a great ship - and put us in mind of a sculpture recently installed at Port Glasgow on the Clyde.
Shortly after passing this point we hit a strong headwind, and a bitterly cold one at that - the east wind is never anything but cold! We slogged into this for a few kilometres before reaching Fascadale Bay where we could land to take lunch. The landing here is not easy in any sort of swell, and one of the party got a soaking whilst landing on the steeply shelving pebbles.
We were fairly cold as well as hungry; I took no photographs here, preferring to eat and get a hot drink instead. I think we all felt better once we'd fuelled up, and as a bonus the headwind dropped considerably whilst we were on the beach.
Our route continued eastward for another 5 kilometres or so until we found a small beach to land on. In fact there are two sandy beaches at Ockle, below a building marked on the map as Swordle Bay House. This is likely to make a much easier landing than at Fascadale, but there is no road access to the beach.
The two sandy beaches at Ockle are separated by a rocky finger formed by a lava flow; the whole of the Ardnamurchan peninsula is part of a volcanic complex and a very clear caldera formation can be seen using Google Earth.
We paddled out from Ockle and continued our journey eastward towards the distant point of Rubha Aird Druimnich (point of the high ridges) which marked the turn in towards Ardtoe and our finishing point. Beyond the point, a fine view to Rois-Bheinn opened up.