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The plan was to paddle up to the Summer Isles exploring the coast en route.

Day 1 - Sands campsite to Slaggan bay
Day 2 - On to Little Loch Broome
Day 3 - Into the Summer Isles
Day 4 - Back through the Summer Isles
Day 5 - Heading south to Torridon
Day 6 - Into Loch Torridon
Day 7 - Return to Sands campsite

The complete trip:

Day 1 - Sands campsite to Slaggan bay

GPS track on: Open Maps

Departing on a murky morning west to Longa Island.


The weather improved as we turned north.


Some interest on the long stretch up to Rubha Reid.


The sea state up to the lighthouse had been fairly benign but on rounding Rubha Reid there was a considerable swell so we gave the rocks a wide berth.


We'd wanted to stop at the sandy beach of Camas Mor but spotting big surf we decided to carry on to finish the day just past Loch Ewe at Slaggan bay.

Day 2 - On to Little Loch Broome

GPS track on: Open Maps

The swell (pic courtesy Chris) was still apparent as we rounded Greenstone Point


It was getting warm as we stopped at Mellon Udrigle for lunch.



Into Gruinard bay we skirted around the bottom of Gruinard island then onwards to finish the day at Camas na Ruthaig.

Day 3 - Into the Summer Isles

GPS track on: Open Maps

A beautiful morning as we headed up into the Summer isles.



The first isle, Carn nan Sgeir, was a pleasant surprise.



The water was crystal clear between Horse Island and Meall nan Gabhar.


Onwards to Tanera Mor looking for a lunch stop.



We'd spotted an opportunity on the map to top up our water supplies. On arrival at the beach we were greeted by a construction worker who related that the facilities were closed due to building works but we could refill from a tap.


Fish farm between Tanera Mor and Tanera Beg.


A small sandy beach for lunch on Eilean Fada Mor. Sandy beaches like this are few and far between in the Summer Isles.



To Glas-leach Mor.


And Eilean Mullagrach.



Then Isle Ristol.



Day 4 - Back through the Summer Isles

GPS track on: Open Maps




Between Isle Ristol and the mainland.


To the west of Tanera Beg.


Stac Mhic Aonghais (picture courtesy Chris).


Flat calm - getting the forecast.



To Eilean Dubh for a pleasant morning break.


Carn Lar and Carn Deas.


An intricate cave on Carn Lar.


There were jellyfish everywhere; mainly moon jellyfish but also Lion's Mane.


Fisheries protection vessel.


To Priest Island for lunch and a chance to air overheated bodies and damp clothing. In hindsight a bad beach to stop at. As the tide ebbed, slippery boulders were exposed making for a tricky launch. Many of the beaches we encountered were boulder beaches.



After crossing back to the mainland we ended the day back at Slaggan Bay.

Day 5 - Heading south to Torridon

GPS track on: Open Maps

We saw quite a few Skuas. Now and again one would come to check us out, circling before landing.


The weather being a lot calmer we enjoyed caves, stacks and rock hopping along the coast to Rubha Reid.



(picture courtesy Chris).



In one and out the other.


A couple of seals greeted us at Longa Island where we were hoping to camp.


But it wasn't suitable.


Crossing Loch Gairloch we came across a Basking Shark.


Skye in the background.


Heading on to Red Point and two potential camping spots.


The first opportunity looked promising but wasn't suitable.


Thankfully the second spot was good.



Day 6 - Into Loch Torridon

GPS track on: Open Maps

The remote community of Lower Diabaig.


We pitched our tents then went for a paddle into Upper Loch Torridon, rain was gathering in the surrounding mountains and we were soon in the thick of it.


Inveralligin.


Shieldaig.


I indulged at a local cafe.


Our campsite was excellent and the weather improved for the evening but as the wind dropped the midges appeared as usual.


A drying opportunity.


Evening dress.

Day 7 - Return to Sands campsite

GPS track on: Open Maps

A murky start and a large fish farm.


The paddle back to Loch Gairloch was becoming a drag until someone shouted 'fin'. There was a flock of Gannets coming our way, and we soon saw Dolphins. The gannets were occasionally diving into the sea. As the activity died away and I turned back towards the northern shore a Minke whale surfaced about 50 metres away.

(picture courtesy Chris).


Thanks to Chris, and Ian for an excellent expedition !

Home > Sea Kayaking > Expeditions & classic trips

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