Our paddle along the wonderful NW coast of Jura continued under the pure blue of a Spring morning sky, the wild scenery a constant delight.
Conditions were idyllic and in contrast to the previous evening when we'd had to fight our way clear of the tide in the Corryvreckan strait, out boats seemed to be moving effortlessly through calm, clear water with barely any exertion required. I think that on this stretch we all fell into a bit of a daydream, but what a location in which to dream......
Mike's call of "eagle!" from behind brought me sharply out of my daydream; the great bird swept along the cliff, landing almost directly above us to examine these strange floating objects. Huge and impressive birds, a sighting of a White Tailed Eagle is always a thrill.
Our first goal of the day was Corpach Bay - the name translates as "place of the dead" and indicates that this was one of the places where corpses in transit to the burial islands of Oronsay and Iona were temporarily kept if the weather was too rough for the crossing. Corpach seems to have been associated with Iona and there's a cave behind the beach where the dead would have been placed while waiting for suitable conditions.
We'd had an early start from Glengarrisdale and it was definetely time for second breakfast! Our landing was a very easy one on the sandy part of the beach in calm conditions - but this wouldn't be an easy place to land with any swell; there are concelaed boulders and a steep berm of pebbles at the high water mark.
From our seats on clipped turf above the beach we had a super view north to Mull with Ben More very prominent. Iona was a low smudge on the horizon, the destination for many a final voyage from this beach. Such sombre thoughts weren't uppermost in our minds on this lovely Spring morning though, the soundtrack to our breakfast was that quintessential sound of Spring, the songs of Skylarks cascading and tumbling from the blue above us.
Surf washed boulders made for interesting patterns on the shore as we made our way back down to the boats......
...past the tracks of Red Deer which showed that we weren't the first visitors to Corpach beach that morning.
Corpach may indeed be the "place of the dead", but on a morning like this it seemed to us to be simply full of the joy of life.