We paddled along the southern shore of Loch Gairloch (a tautological name which translates as Loch of the Short Loch) and took a coffee break at Port Henderson where a narrow strip of sand allows an easy landing on an otherwise bouldery beach.
Of course, when there are so many excellent beaches to savour, it pays to have plenty of hot water for coffee! We headed north and made the 4km crossing of the outer loch to a beach which is simply known as "Big Sand"...for the most obvious of reasons! A landing on the broad expanse of warm-coloured sand was followed by another coffee break. To get these conditions in winter is a rare treat; it was actually pleasantly warm due to the lack of wind, clear sky and our paddling drysuits. An advantage of this winter beach-life is a lack of biting insects and crowds...though it has to be said tha the air temperature was hardly above freezing all day.
After packing up at Charlestown we drove out to a spot above Big Sand to watch the sun set over the north of Skye. It had been a great day and the bonus was returning to our base on Loch Ewe to a warm house, home cooked food and a sports recovery drink - all in all a fine day!