Thursday, 25 April 2013

Skye - RDX 2013 ... a summary, reflection and a few more photos

What a couple of weeks of contrasting weather, with f2/3, dry and minus temperatures at night and then f 5-10 with torrential rain!  Apparently Talisker distillery had run out of water, when we initially arrived and there had been a lot of moorland and lower mountain fires, some getting very close to the houses ...

So overall we had 5.5 days of settled, super weather while expeditioning and paddled 2/3rd's of the island.  From Saturday pm we settled in to weather the storm, aware and hoping that a small weather window would hold and allow progress further along the coast.  That never really materialised and a snapped tent pole, assisted the decision making process to relocate to a hostel.

We then managed a windy paddle in Dunvagen Bay, a surf session at Glen Brittle, a super sunny and settle paddle to Loch Currisk at the base of the Cullins (the UK's longest and most technical and demanding ridge) and on the last day a paddle at Kyle Rhea, working in the tide race. 

The following few photos are what i felt where significant moments, or just made me smile ... I hope you enjoy ...

End of Day 2 and the lighthouse at the North of Rona ...

Got to be one of the best campsites in the world, with a few like that, back across to Skye ...

Day 3 and South of Staffin Island on the East coast of Skye ... my neck was sore by the end of the day ...

Day 5 - Neist Point light house in the distance and were on the West coast now ...

Day 5 and close to Macleods Maidens one of many stunning water falls and this is after nearly 7 weeks without rain ..

Talisker Bay the start of the bad weather.  Amazing rolling surf and a waterfall flowing skywards ... it was just so bizarre to watch.

Day 12 - On the Way to loch Coruisk ...

What a stunning view - Loch Coruisk with the Cullins in the back ground ..

Leaving Soay Island with amazing emerald waters ...

Macleods Maidens with super descending light ...

We saw so many Black Guillemot's.  Which I never seen before out of the water ... I just love those red feet  ...

2030 sitting out side the tent, drinking a mug of tea, chatting as a team of 3, when a pod of 4 dolphins arrived (about 250 mt away).  Just a magic end to the day ... (sorry couldn't get rid of this underline?)

A big well done to both Zoe and Gary for the effort, commitment and your smiles ... and thanks to Sonja for Blog updates and for keeping an eye on the weather ..


roger chandler

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Coastal Spirit Rapid Development Sea Kayaking Skye April 19th 2013

Surfing at Glen Brittle the previous day..

The following day at Elgol..what a contrast! 
Up at 6, packed and away by 7am, leaving the comforts and the warmth of the hostel. It took over an hour to get to Elgol and we were soon on the water. It was lovely to see clear skies and silky seas. First goal was Camasunary bothy, set in a lovely bay, then on to Loch Coruisk and to the island of Soay. We saw the most seals we had seen at any one time, and we were careful not to spook them. It was interesting to see how relaxed they were with the tour power boats but twitchy with us. 

The winds were due to pick up to F4/5 by 2pm so we kept things moving. Soay was the original home of Gavin Maxwel, the shark hunter turned conservationist. The sun was lovely and warm, and it would have been easy to snooze ... We walked across the island and met a woman and her dog. She had lived on the island for 23 years and at the early stages 17 people lived on the island, now there was only 3!
Sensing a feeling of sadness, we all wondered what it would be like on an island full time throughout the whole year!

We headed back with the wind now freshening to F4 although on our bow and we enjoyed the ride! Back at the start and keen for a brew, we loaded and headed to the local cafe for cheese scones, tea and to chat about our next plan and to find a spot with shelter for the tents and us from the F5/6 due to arrive imminently......!


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Coastal Spirit Rapid Development Expedition Skye Thursday 18th April

Following the earlier tent epics Gary, Zoe and Roger relocated to a nice cosy hostel to escape the incessant wind and rain!

Thursday had a relaxed start to the day, with a good breakfast, sorting of kit in the drying room, book reading and out by 11. Plan was to find some surf, due to more strong winds (and more rain ..). The first potential venue had more wind than surf so the group headed off to Glen Brittle Bay, a long shot but the swell might just have reflected round the coast. 

They got lucky! Around 2ft and with a small bar, which increased and steepened a wave.
 A super day made out of the bad weather. 
Their aim is to be out early tomorrow and get a paddle out to Soay Island and Loch Corursk. 


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Coastal Spirit Rapid Development Expedition Skye Wed 17th April

Today saw us relocate to escape the wind and rain following a hearty breakfast of fried eggs and potato scones! Our weather window for this morning had been looking increasingly small and sketchy, however with it lashing it down and getting increasingly windy as forecast we went for a small jolly on the water for a bit of a play!! The last 800m of our amble into the elements were the toughest yet...!


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Later that same day, RDX Skye Tuesday 16th April

...... the bit about the strong and warm tents in the earlier blog from today by Roger,
might regret that comment.....Gary's tent pole has just snapped in the gale force sorting that out will keep us busy and warm for a bit....!

Meanwhile a picture of Gary when he's happy..........! (Sorry Gary, x)

Blogged by Sonja (not Roger) who accepts total responsibility for posting the above luvly photo of Gary

The long wait .... Skye RDX 2013

This morning ..Wednesday I set off after a wet and breezy night to get an up date and a detailed forecast, for the next couple of days. The 10k walk was soon reduced after 10 minutes when I got lucky with a bus, and then back at the Old Inn for Wifi and a breakfast. The later had finished ... But a bacon and egg roll with a coffee was OK.. Happy days!

After many discussions and creative thinking both Zoe and Gary have decided to stick where we are and aim to get as far as we can. Rather than me go for the van and relocate, and attempt to make the most of each day.

Big thanks to Sonja for relaying the Blog updates and texting us weather forecasts, which have helped greatly with decisions. So how are we doing? Both Zoe and Gary have been doing a super job with the tidal planning, keeping hold of the big picture and looking at specifics at the same time. I was very impressed, on the evening of my demise while both ends of my body were expelling there contents, how they kept an open mind and created various plans and ideas. Really based on what I would be like in the morning!!

The tricky part now is not getting to comfortable in our strong and warm tents. Like that big climbing hold, you don't want to let go of ... unsure of the ground ahead and balancing decisions. For us its about keeping a close watch on any opportunities Weds morning? There's a small window, which we currently intend to push our noses against and see what it looks like around the corner. It will be a head wind and big swell, but we have the option of returning to our camp if we're not happy. Then Thursday looks like its no paddle day and then good on Friday.

With about 130k to go to complete the loop, we need at least two good days, which currently looks like we haven't got .. Oh hum our aim is to get to Eigol (?) and make the most of Fridays better forecast and explore the remainder of this stunning coastline ... hopefully ;)

So overall we are still hopeful, warm, refreshed, relaxed, reading and eating lots and hungry for some settled weather ...

roger chandler

Sea kayaking course's
Sea kayak eXpedition training and development

Monday, 15 April 2013

Coastal Spirit RDX Skye Day 7

Currently stormbound whilst gale force winds lash the west coast, however we are not totally suffering.....

In case you were wondering at the absence of white stuff (surf type features in the background, rather than the white stuff on the pints given the aforementioned wind situation!!) this picture is inland at The Old Inn at Carbost....safely nestled away in the leeward side of the wind!!!!


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Coastal Spirit Rapid Development Expedition Skye Day 6

 Neist point in the back ground and a happy team..

Macleod's maidens with our camp just round the corner.....


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Coastal Spirit Rapid Development Expedition Day 5

Amazing day today with fabulous coastline...
The boys have recovered from their ailments of yesterday.....
Another 42 km, a nice man to fill our water who also happened to give us chocolate "cheers Roy", and phew "Im tired"..


Friday, 12 April 2013

Coastal Spirit Rapid Development Expedition Skye Day 4

32km today, through one of our cruxes and across silky seas with winds less than expected across to Waternish Point. Camping tonight on a lovely island.


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Coastal Spirit Rapid Development Expedition Skye Day 3

A relaxed start and what a morning. Warmer last night.. Just 0 degrees!
Start of the two hour crossing from the tip of Rona.
Winds were light with amazing rock strcutures, caves, arches and pinnacles.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Coastal Spirit Rapid Development Expedition Skye Day 2

After temperatures down to a balmy -3 degrees last night a blue sky and frosty kit greeted us this morning! Spirits are high and Rona's west coast is our destination. 

2 golden eagles, one on the south of Raasay + then close 2 the photo above!


Monday, 8 April 2013

Coastal Spirit Rapid Development Expedition Skye Day 1

 The first nights camp..........surely we are not all squeezing into that one tent Roger..?

Eigg...somewhere in the distance! Lots of Common Seals, Red Deer, Eider Ducks and the first of hopefully many Otters seen today.

The ferry to Skye...

Forgotten how heavy these boats could anyone fancy a tea break before we start...?


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Isle of Skye and some final preparation .....

After a good meal in the bar last night and a couple of pints of Tradewind (delicious) Gary and myself settled down to a good nights sleep.

I little grey and cloudy start to the day with some drizzle but light winds .. ;)

Zoe arrived at 10, after enjoying a friends wedding the night before so the team is now complete. Just popped into Fort Will for some currant buns, additional lighters and some lunch/coffee.

This afternoon is about Zoe and Gary confirming the plan based on the next 4/5 days weather and the best start point. Some big 2 mt swell forecast for Monday .. With a huge low pressure sitting out in the Atlantic, we are likely to set out from Arndale and aim for Sandaig Island for Monday night, which would put us in a super position for Kyle Rhea on Tuesday.

Thursday's weather looks grim but then 4 days ago so did Tuesday. So anything could really happen ...

Heading for Maliag and the ferry across to Skye first thing on Monday morning, so hopefully we could be on the water by 1200.

roger chandler

Expedition paddling +
developmental sea kayaking course's

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Prep for Around Skye

With the kayaks now on the van and my bags almost packed, Friday is for ensuring my admin is as tight as it can be, read a page or two of my book, grab a coffee and await for Gary's arrival. Food then bed and leave in Sat morning for the drive North, which will be about 7 hours. Where booked into a cabin for the night, so food and a couple of beers before bed and sleep.

Sunday Zoe arrives, last stop for any bread type stuff and looking more closely at weather and potential start points. Weather is due to become warmer, but wet ... oh hum ... But I'm sure it will soon sort it self out and we will have some of that super warm sunshine as we did back in April 2011. Do you remember that month and fantastic settled weather ....

While I'm away Sonja will be up dating the Blog, keeping us informed with weather up dates and managing Coastal Spirit booking's. if mobile reception is poor or batteries are low we my manage a tweet, which now can be found on the right of the Blog.


roger chandler