Back in October whilst visiting relatives on the Isle of Bute I had an opportunity to do some paddling on the Kyles of Bute, the narrow strait of water which separate the island from the Argyll mainland, into which the north of Bute fits like a ball and socket.
I set out from Rhubodach on a clear and calm morning, waiting until the ferry to Colintraive, MV Loch Dunvegan, departed on her short voyage.
My route took me up the east Kyle and then into Loch Riddon, which is a shallow sea loch lined with maritime oak woods. Autumn's full colour was still to develop but the trees were laden with acorns.
After paddling to near the head of the loch on the east shore I came back down on the west shore and arrived at Eilean Dubh (the dark island) behind which is a popular if small anchorage for yachts. Remains of estate infrastructure stands in remarkably good condition near the island, this crane looked as if it could be put back into service with a bit of work
This small but distinctive lighthouse stands on a small point on the shore, Eilean Dubh is to the right with the entrance to the anchorage between. In spring Eilean Dubh is a noisy place as there is a large heronry in the big trees.