Friday, 15 November 2019
From gold back to cold on Loch Gairloch
On this day of peerless autumn weather, the beach at Big Sand was a small piece of paradise. With no breeze the sunshine felt warm on the face...and the views, oh the views! It would have been easy to spend hours on this beautiful beach, but as you can see from the shadows behind our boats, the short autumn day was already wearing on. By the time we got on the water for the final leg of our paddle back to Strath the sun was already low in the south western sky.
We paddled steadily back along the shore, occasionally glancing over our shoulders to note the rapid skimming of the sun. There was a moment of brilliance as it dipped below the skyline of Skye's Trotternish peninsula, with even the briefest of hint of a "green flash" as the very last of the disc disappeared.
Once the sun had set it became very cold, a contrast to the golden light. A "sundowner" breeze had started up and we paddled a bit faster to kep up our tcore temperature, and to land before darkness fell.
After landing on the shore a few undred metres east of the slipway at Strath, we carried our boats across the road to unload them on a handy stretch of grass prior to moving them back to the campsite. A full hour afte sunset the western horizon still had a deep bronze glow. The lighting here is deceptive, in reality it was virtually dark at this point.
A hot shower awaited us backat te camp site, and then another really good meal at the ld Inn rounded off what had been an outstanding day of sea kayaking in the most perfect of conditions and in a stunning location.
Our trip had been a very leisurely 25Km/15 miles in seven hours on the water - given good weather we can absolutely recommend this as a day paddle!