Monday, 23 June 2014

Hebridean Sharker, part 3

Having drawn a blank on the shark hunting so far, a change of plan was needed. After sitting out some horrible weather with Mrs and Miss CWW, I travelled the long road to Calgary Bay on Mull.

My destination was the island of Coll, said to be a hotspot for basking sharks.
It's about 15km to cross from Calgary Bay. The tide flows across the route at about 2 and a half knots. I only read up on this after getting home (true to form), and it would have been a useful bit of information to know. The consequences were
a. It was quite rough
b. I nearly missed Coll.
As it was, I landed up on a pleasant spot to camp at the northern tip of the island, with a fine view to Rhum.

The west coast of Coll looks intriguing on the map- a long series of rocky outcrops and beaches. It was, however, a grey day, and the low coast was pleasant but not exciting. With little inclination to stop, I found myself well on the way to a circumnavigation in a day.

Another fine campsite appeared, with a carpet of buttercups.

This bears a remarkable resemblance to the state of my lawn when I got home. Somewhere around, however, was a corncrake, and in the morning I had a brief glimpse of a dolphin leaping by. Seal families were playing just off the beach.
The following morning I paddled first to Arinagour, the chief settlement of Coll.. It's a fine wee place, but, story of my life, the cafe was closed!

So many times I have paddled or walked long distances for this to happen.
With my boat moored (always preferable to being beached, when paddling alone), I went to see the sights. A whale jawbone arch looks over the ferry terminal, and an old gun protects the yacht moorings.

The weather was strange. I had to set off for Mull on a compass bearing, but gradually the low cloud lifted, leaving a crystal clear day, with next to no wind. It was a mellow trip compared to my initial crossing, and I was pretty well outstripping the sailors.

My journey ended in Calgary Bay again. I don't think Tex Geddes would have rated me as a sharker, but perhaps the hunt is better than the kill.

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