Friday, 14 October 2016

Skye at night

I've long hankered after a visit to Soay, to see the remains of Tex Geddes' shark processing factory. Taking advantage of an unusually kind October forecast, I had an early start down the beautiful road from Broadford to Torrin, on a glorious morning.


Heading south out of Loch Slapin, the coast becomes steadily more dramatic,

until a corner is turned and the outline of the Black Cuillin appears. There is a wee preview through a hole in a cliff. A couple of otters and an eagle were enjoying the day too.

I took a turn round Soay from here. I'd thought it was uninhabited, but there are well maintained houses and some small wind turbines. The south side isn't a great landing for a solo boat with a biggish load, so I headed on round to the "Soay harbour", an inlet on the north side. Some working boats were moored here. It's in this bay that the shark processing factory stands, gradually returning back to nature.

Soay is also home to some sheep. I presume they are Soay sheep, though they are considerably heftier than the ones on St Kilda.

They share the rocks with the cormorants.
From here I headed into Loch Scavaig, to camp at Coruisk. I was pretty tired by arrival, which coincided with the departure of the last of the tourist boats. A fine day gradually turned into a fine night. The local seals were playing at being dolphins, leaping completely out of the water. I read my kindle first by moonlight, then by starlight.

Another fine morning followed,

and I headed for home, stopping only at the Spar Cave. A grotty spot in all meanings of the word.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Greenland, Part 3

Camping in Greenland is a delight. At night we could listen to grumbles, crashes and bangs from the icebergs. Often this would be mixed with the noises of whales blowing. Most evenings we spent whale watching.

One evening we had a more nosy visitor.

And sometimes we just enjoyed the sights.

All in all a wonderful place, enjoyed with fantastic company.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Greenland, part 2

A large part of the attraction of arctic paddling is the ice. It's also dangerous stuff, with the potential for exploding icebergs, calving glaciers and drifting pack to make progress impossible. There was relatively little of it about this year, but it remained spectacular.

The glacier in the background here is coming straight down from the icecap. There are hundreds of miles of ice stretching from here to the west coast.
Picture the Cuillins of Skye, with glaciers, and stretching on seemingly endlessly.

We did visit some small settlements, which gave a limited opportunity to restock.