Saturday, 13 August 2011

Skye and the caves of Loch Bracadale

I crossed the open sea between Harlosh Island and the coast that heads for Idrigill point without further excitement. The wind and sea stayed calm during the half hour crossing, with only the swell rolling the boat. I was headed for a huge dark cavernous mark that I could see on the cliffs just south of Loch Bharcasaig, a smaller bay off Loch Bracadale. The trees on top of the cliffs help give some scale to this cave.

I could have fitted the boat in this one with plenty of room to spare but unfortunately the tide was now almost out and I could see some rocks guarding the entrance just below the surface. The swell would surely drop the boat onto them if I tried to land so I decided to stay out.

As I went further up the coast towards Idrigill I saw more and more caves

The cormorants sitting on the rocks outside this one give some idea of the size, but again the swell prevented me landing and exploring them.

I was now heading for the open sea. I knew there were almost five miles of cliffs with few places to land if the wind decided to ruffle the sea again like it did earlier in the morning. It was a long expose run for shelter if it did. The bright sun and blue sea helped give me the courage to continue. Gray seas and cold dark clouds sap my sense of sea adventure so I confess to being a fair weather sailor.

The two white dots in the sea in front of these cliffs are lobster pot markers and give some sense of scale in this photo. There was no way out if the sea turned nasty.

I knew from my walk several years before that around the half way mark to the maidens there was a breach in the cliffs called Brandarsaig Bay. I kept this in the back of my mind as the closest escape route if it was required. I reached it while the wind and sea still slept.

In the far distance I could see the natural arch that I wanted to photograph... I continued past the bay hoping to reach it ... without any problems......

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