A lot of rain fell during the night and the damp grey morning matched my mood. Another phone call home and I knew my daughter had been released from hospital and things were not as bleak as they first appeared. I was still worried over the situation but knew there was nothing I could do returning home straight away.
I decided to gather my thoughts with an early morning trip out on Loch Laxford. I launched the boat at six in the morning, beside the boathouse on the eastern end of the loch.
Almost immediately the short choppy waves came splashing over the front of the boat and I couldn’t help wonder what I was doing in this inhospitable wilderness. I was about to turn back when I found some shelter from the waves close into the rocky shore. Rounding the first point I began to settle and started trolling my fishing line.
I slowly made my way up the loch without a single nibble, I wondered if I would go hungry that night. The landscape was colourless and barren as I made my way into a sheltered bay where the Loch Laxford shellfish company kept their boats. Even they looked run down and abandoned in this desolate landscape.
Even the sight of the solitary seagull seemed to fit my mood. It was the only living thing I saw all morning on the loch. It looked thoroughly miserable with the scotch mist dripping off the end of its beak.
I spent around two hours aimlessly exploring the inner half of the sea loch before the weather started to clear on the seaward side. The sight of some distant blue sky brough a little colour back into my mood.
I rounded island after island without a touch of lunch nibbling my fishing line. I wondered if the water was as barren as the hillsides. Where were the mackerel ? Why did I feel so vulnerable on this loch ?
As the wind started to blow again the sky became a little brighter. Perhaps it was the wind that was clearing the clouds but it certainly cleared me off the loch. I headed for the launch point before the rapidly rising waves further dampened my spirits. The water was pitch black from the peat washed from the hills. I wondered if that why the mackerel couldn’t see my bait.
Almost as soon as I landed, things started to brighten up. I guess I didn’t give the loch a chance to shine.
Feeling a lot safer and more like myself again, I decided to head for the hills and see some more of the loch by shank’s pony. This view is looking back at the boathouse and car.
To my eyes, the hills were far more colourful when seen by foot. The heather was blooming colourful too.
From the top I surveyed the full length of the loch. I saw the places that I had visited in my boat and realised I had only gone half way up the loch.
The wind seemed to have dropped a little too and the sky was still clearing. My mood was also clearing with the exercise of walking.
Looking for a photo of one of natures abstract patterns for this area, I took this shot and wondered it it was the colours of the hills that inspired many of the tartan patterns in the kilts of the highland clans.
Looking behind me I could see the cloud rising on Ben Stack. It was still a hill too far for me that morning, but the afternoon looked a lot more promising, my depression was lifiting with the clouds.