Summer Isles Sea Kayak

Following our paddle on Loch Maree we decided to take advantage of the light winds forecast and head for a two dayer on the Summer Isles. The route was taken out of the scottish sea kayaking book. We decided to head across to Ullapool and then head North to Altandhu. The drive across was stunning with great views all the way. Ullapool looked a cool place and home to the ferry to Stornoway.
Calmac heading for Stornoway
The road with stunning views
The plan was to head for Althandu and leave the vehicles and head off to the Summer Isles. We had seen that there was campsite at Althandu but reports were saying that it was not quite open. This was correct they were still building it! However the people were lovely and allowed us to leave our vans and pointed us towards other facilities we could use! We would totally recommend this campsite as a base to explore this awesome sea kayaking haven! The campsite is now open! Port a Bhaigh Campsite.  
Port a Bhaigh Campsite
We decided to watch the weather and if possible try to stay overnight on one of the Islands where we could find an appropriate place to camp. With the sea kayaks laden we saddled up the trolleys and negotiated the rocks and pools down the slip way to launch. 
What we hadn't accounted for was the spring tide being out and leaving a portage through to Old Dornie our intended route! This was not too much of an issue as the causeway was full of pools that you could float the boats across.

The sea life left behind by the tide was fascinating and we spent time exploring before getting back in the Kayaks and heading out past Old Dornie towards Tanera Beg and Tanera More. There were many small islands and inlets to explore and with the stunning weather and calm seas we were able to get close!

The Torridonian hills were a spectacular backdrop! We kept pinching ourselves! The forecast came through on the radio that the light winds would continue until tomorrow afternoon so as long as we got out early in the morning then we would avoid the force 5/6 that would entertain us in the afternoon. There were reports of a sea arch and caves so we were all very excited.
We headed for the Anchorage which has existed since the 1700's housing many fishing vessels bringing herring into the fishing station at Tigh an Quay. However very different today as leisure boats are the usual visitors. Tanera More is the only inhabited island in the Summer Isles and it wasn't long before we headed around the South side heading for the caves and sea arch.
Sea Cave worth a look
Sea Arch
We headed east side of Tanera Beg having spotted a great place to camp for the night. We circumnavigated Eilean Flada Mor where a seal colony would be waiting for us! This was such a tranquil and stunning place!

Before camp we decided to head around the west side of Tanera Beg and the conditions changed with much more swell! Although no tidal streams this is not a place to get complacent in! We headed back to the camp and struggled up the rocky beach but it was well worth it!!
Team work
The coolest place to camp!
It was time for tea and Neil cooked up his usual high standard food whilst we settled for our usual slop! At least we had a good view to eat it! After the washing up it was time to head for the highest hill to watch the sun drop! What a place this was.
Looking back at the camp
The sun dropping on a great day!
Team pic
Not a bad view for the evening
It was soon time to head back to camp and reflect with a brew on what had been a great day. Soon discussion turned to the next day. The plan would be to head for a small group of islands, heading then for Eilean Duhb.

The next day was a huge contrast to the day before. It was brew time and the view from the tent was not quite the same as the day before. The plan was still to head out and get back before the weather hits us in the afternoon.
Enjoying a good Summer Isles Brew
The view had changed a little! That's where we were heading
The tents were soon packed up and we were heading for the small islands in front. There was the sound of a big boat around and it soon appeared out of the mist behind us! 
The paddle across although feeling very grey was still enjoyable. There was a little more swell than the day before but around the south side of the islands the water was again like a glass pond. 

We decided to stop for a quick brew on a little beach that we found. Neil had not packed lunch for the day so was not happy when we started eating our pre-prepared feast! As we headed for Eilean Dubh we came across a shoal of fish. It was a surreal experience! 

We headed back across to Tanera Beg and through Eilean Flada Mor. The conditions were starting to change with the wind increasing. The paddle back was interesting and tiring! 

Turning around the Isle of Ristol was a welcomed relief. We paddled back to the campsite reunited with our vans. It had been a great 2 days but you could easily spend a week. We had only scratched the surface! There was a weather system coming in for the next few days so we decided to head for Applecross and the Crowlins before the Isle of Skye and Loch Bracadale! 

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