Monday, 13 June 2016

Arid at Erraid - feeling the heat in Tinker's Hole

Once on the water we headed south from Fidden towards the tidal island of Erraid.  Straight away we were amongst rugged coastal scenery and rocky skerries.

The passage between Erraid and Eilean Dubh (Black Island) is well known to yachtsmen as it contains a popular anchorage.......

....known as "Tinker's Hole", so we weren't surprised to see this wooden masted yacht lying quietly at anchor.  Many of the yachting guides describe the anchorage as resembling a flooded quarry, but apart from a rocky platform on the Erraid shore I couldn't see much resemblance at all.

Paddling along below the granite outcrops lining the channel south of Tinker's Hole we felt the full force of the late afternoon sun being reflected from the sparkling pink rock.  The temperature recorded on my watch thermometer here was 26.5 Celcius; which is definitely on the baking side of warm for Scotland.....

...and unlike Donald we weren't able to create our own cooling breeze!  Donald was using an F-RIB 275 folding boat which, remarkably, fits folded down in the back of his car along with a small outboard and all the kit needed for multiday ventures.  Donald has added a bow spray shield and used his experience of other RIBs to make some customising tweaks; the result is that the "Guppy" at just 9 feet length is a really seaworthy craft for coastal adventuring.

We expected a little swell when we left Tinker's Hole but found calm conditions.  The south tip of Erraid is a series of granite outcrops, but conceals a real jewel of a spot.

Our pace on this afternoon paddle was very relaxed and we spent time just drifting, enjoying the situation, the sunshine and the views.  A quick check of the map and we paddled a little further along the coast...... the narrow entrance of a bay.  Lined with white sand below pink granite, the fringes of the bay are lovely and would have made great places to stop.

But ahead was our goal for the afternoon - a beach which simply couldn't be passed by!

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