Monday the 14th March 2011 may become the last day in my life I ever used the Clyde Coastguard for my safety. And I won’t dwell on this, but if the totally ill thought proposals of HM Government in Westminster get their way I for one will find it totally bizarre calling Aberdeen Coastguard when I’m kayaking on the West of Scotland. Truly and totally bonkers. Well done Dave, ‘we’re all in it together’. Are we? No we’re not actually because when I sit my lonely little tush in a wee boat a fraction wider than me and send myself off round the most westerly point of mainland Britain I certainly don’t feel ‘in it’ with anyone, maybe its comforting knowing that you know someone on your coastline is listening out for you, but not you Dave, you are not in my boat with me, and frankly mate, you never will be. Its a single seater anyway, it just wouldn’t be practical.
Anyway, swiftly moving on, as I was out of Tobermory Bay. After my wee call to the CG in Greenock I headed off North with a fresh Easterly on my beam and a spring in my catch. It was only about 10 or 20 minutes in when I saw it, the second such time I had seen this on this shores of the sound of Mull in the last few days. It was massive, it had wings with splayed ‘fingers’ except this time I saw the tell tale white tail. A big blooming Sea Eagle flying above Bloody Bay. What a creature, simply big and magnificent. Alas I was incapable of reacting quick enough to get a decent snap but I was happy enough under the circumstances.
I aimed for Kilchoan until I was almost clear of Bloody Bay, then once past Ardmore Point I started using the Easterly and every now and then ran with the waves, the closer I got to Ardnamurchan, the more I ran with it. The last wee bit I really felt like I was travelling, this was more like it. As is always the case, when its in your face it takes forever and when its fun its over quicker than you say, ‘Hey mister can I have my ball back please?’
The shelter round the protected shore of the Ardnamurchan headland was really quite odd. The last time I was round here it was howling from the SW and my pal was going green at the back of a yacht. What a difference. It was so calm that I hovered next to the gentle swell, timed my approach and got to touch my hand on the most westerly barnacles on mainland Britain at Corrachadh Mor. I was feeling soulful.
The shelter lasted until immediately after the light house at the Point of Ardnamurchan, from here on it was going to be a fight into the face of the Easterly, so I got as far as Sanna Bay and chucked the towel into the ring, thats enough thank you.
I tried to call Clyde CG again, but they couldn’t hear me. I tried Stornoway CG, but they couldn’t hear me. On no! Come back Dave, all is forgiven, there’s room on my boat for two! Actually no, I’d rather walk back over to Kilchoan to use the phone.
In fact I didn’t walk, Graeme and Sheila Clark kindly gave me a lift there (and a bottle of Double Drop Ale) and by a stroke of luck Judy, Stuart and Sam the labrador gave me a lift back – thanks to all those guys for their kindness.
I phoned the CG and thanked them for being there, then walked up the hill with a camera a beer and a very very beautiful sunset.