Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Oldany Island and Clashnessie Bay

Immediately west of the Culkein Drumbeg area is the tidal Oldany Island.  My original plan had been to camp here, then to head across to Point of Stoer the following day before heading back towards Kylesku.  Unfortunately the weather was due to deteriorate quite rapidly towards te evening of the next day so my plans would have to be modified.

I decided on a circumnavigation of Oldany Island with a trip along to Clashnessie Bay before camping for the night at wherever looked good.

The channel separating Oldany Island from the mainland is another narrow and shallow affair, but it would be navigable by kayak at all but the lowest tides.  It was quiet here apart from the calls of Curlews and Redshanks, those two most distinctive of bird sounds.

After emerging from the channel, the coast on towards Clashnessie is quite rugged and has some nice features including this arch.  At the low state of tide when I approach, any attempt at passing through it lookedtoo tight for comfort.

A steady hour of paddling brought me to Clashnessie Bay where I was relieved to be able to land and stretch my legs.  I'd already paddled 30 kilometers during the day and still had to find a spot to camp.  Grazing land extends to the shore here and I knew that it wouldn't be a good spot.

Besides, I'd only paddled one side of Oldany Island!  I headed back northeast across the bay,  serenaded all the while by a whole choir of seals on Eilean Chrona.  The west and north coasts of Oldany Island are a complete contrast to the sides facing the mainland.  Rocky and exposed to swell from the Minch, there are no realistic landing places and clapotis can be expected even in calm conditions.

That said, it's a great place to paddle!

This is the view back along the north east coast to Poll na Cuile.  A number of small islands need to be threaded beyond here - the route taken will be very dependent upon the height of tide.......

...... but whichever route is taken there are landings available in sheltered corners.

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