Friday, 18 November 2011

Too calm to go paddling

Up here in Scotland November has been, so far, much finer that most of the summer.
Mrs CWW and I had arranged a short holiday to Skye. The plan was that I would be a "mock client" on a Glenmore Lodge leader assessment for a day. Mrs CWW would play golf, and the rest of the time would be spent hill walking.
It's a long way from Fife to Skye, but as we passed Loch Garry with its map of Scotland, the weather was picking up.

It was to stay wonderful. The following day we bussed from Uig to Flodigarry, and walked back via the fantastic pinnacles of the Quiraing.

From the Trotternish ridge, we had the hills of Harris to one side, and a view to the far north-west on the other. These hills are too low to attract munro bashers, but give wonderful walking.

Unfortunately, the complete lack of wind meant that the Glenmore Lodge assessment was cancelled due to excessively nice weather, a decision which didn't seem to take into account the forecast. The morning dawned to much more typical Skye November weather.
With a southerly force 5, forecast to strengthen, I made a solo start into Loch Bracadale. This wasn't the most sensible place to go, as it was fully exposed to the wind.

It was an atmospheric day of sudden sun and rainbows, but very quickly the sea was rough and getting rougher. No more pictures were taken!
I got no further than the south of end of Harlosh Island, where a big swell was reflecting off the cliffs. A short retreat and exploration of the other shore followed, but it wasn't long before I turned and ran back to shelter. It did occur to me that the nearest lifeboat station here is probably Mallaig. Even at 25 knots that's well over an hour away!
Unfortunately, news of family illness meant we had to return home early. It still feels a privilege, however, to have had such a wonderful day at this time of year.


  1. Great stuff Iain, I particularly love the glorious autumnal colours in the second panoramic image taken from Trotternish. An underrated and beautiful part of the island.

    Kind regards

  2. Awesome pictures and very atmospheric, thanks for posting, keep it up