Thursday, 9 September 2010

Achiltibuie and the Summer Isles

I was now on my way to the next stop at Achiltibuie and had plans to go round the Summer Isles in the morning. Rounding the coast from Altandhu, the Summer Isles looked very inviting in the late evening light.

I was delighted to see the wind had dropped by the time I parked on the “green” at Achiltibuie so inflated the boat to see if I could get myself some dinner before darkness fell at 9.30pm. It felt eons had passed since my mussel lunch.

Twice round the bay and I had three mackerel. I could have caught many more but I stop fishing once I have enough to eat. I had them cleaned and cooked before rigamortis had time to stiffen the fish. You cant beat a BBQ’d mackerel cooked straight from the water.

I camped overnight where I had parked to go fishing and was delighted to wake early to a bright sunny morning. There was a fresh breeze blowing but the water looked quite flat at first sight.

However, I was a bit wary as it was an off shore wind which can be very deceptive for a small inflatable. I took a walk around the green to take a photo or two while I decided how windy it actually was. I was beginning to wonder if I still had the balls to go in my small boat

The little village looked very scenic in the early morning light. As I waited, I thought the wind was beginning to freshen a little more.

Looking across the water towards the Summer Isles I saw this boat and it gave a good indication of how the wind was chopping the sea in mid channel. I was now having second thoughts about visiting the Summer Isles today.

I packed everything back into the car and decided to go to the beach at Achnahaird Bay which was on the windward side of the peninsula. That would give me a fair idea of how big the waves would be near the islands.

I found this beautiful stony beach and sat listening to the waves rumbling the stones up and down the shore. The noise slowed my thoughts and felt very soothing to my mind. It was then that I decided to head to Ullapool and visit the Summer Isles on a commercial boat trip. It would be far safer than me trying to see them in my little boat.

As I made my way to Ullapool the sky started to close in around Stac Poly and the wind rose even more.

By the time I arrived in Ullapool, the flags on the pier were all flying straight out. Although the boat trip was advertised to sail at 10am, and it was only 9.45am the ticket office was closed and there was hardly a soul to be seen. The trip was cancelled due to lack of interest.

I couldnt help but feel a little sad when I saw the ferry sitting at the pier. It was due to sail to Stornoway and two weeks before, I had planned to be on it with my American friend for a week wild camping to explore Lewis. Unfortunately, she had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances at her end.

It was time for me to return home for a couple of days to see my daughters, but I knew I was going to return to visit the Summer Isles, as soon as the weather and my mood settled.

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