Thursday, 8 September 2011

Arisaig and the Sands of Morar

I had a sleepless night in the tent, not because of the wind blowing round the guy ropes but because my stomach was rumbling. In the morning I got up at first light to check the sea and found it was still very rough for my small boat.

The sky looked dramatic and unsettled. The forecast was for gusts up to 35 m.p.h. with heavy showers.

The waves broke on the rocks sending fume high into the air. My mood started to fall with the barometer as my empty stomach rumbled and yearned for fish.

That's when I thought of nipping up to the Sands of Morar with the small inflatable. It would be sheltered in the bay and perhaps the mackerel would be sheltering there too? My mood started to rise again. Sure enough, when I got there, the sea was calm.

Within 15 minutes the boat was inflated and ready for the water. I assembled the fishing rod taking care to keep the lure's treble hook well clear of the tube wall, then I was off.

I headed for the river mouth first in the hope of attracting a nice sea trout, but the water was very shallow for the outboard motor so I headed for the sea.

I quickly realise that I had made a big mistake thinking mackerel would be here. Although the bay of Morar is large, the tide was well down and there was only a foot or two of water the whole way. I landed on a sandy beach at the mouth of the loch and went for a look around the shore.

I saw a golden eagle swirling in circles above the sand dunes. It reminded me that I was also supposed to be looking for food. The waves were dropping in size but so was the water depth.

I finally cracked, hunger won, so I headed back to the car and Mallaig to visit the fish shop. I bought some langoustines for my dinner and had a coffee and sandwich for lunch.

I then headed back to the campsite to launch the boat. It was easy getting it down the shingle and into the little bay, gravity is great that way. Then it was just a case of waiting for the tide to come in so I could float it out.

The boat abandoned in the dry dock of the bay

No way of getting it to the sea over the rocks but at least the wind had dropped.

Yippee ..almost afloat..only problem is ..the wind is getting up again.

I got the boat out no problem but the waves were around three feet high. I had fun trolling my lure behind the boat looking for a mackerel or three.

Just as I was beginning to feel a little seasick in the swell, I caught one so headed for the sheltered bay

I moored the boat at the entrance to the bay and headed back to the tent to ...

Eat my langustines and mackerel. They went down a treat and I soon felt on top of the world again.

That is when I had the bright idea of phoning my brother Douglas
The Conversation went something like this.....

“Hi Douglas.. Im in Arisaig for a you fancy coming up for a paddle in your kayak ?"

“Hi Donald.. whats the weather like up there ?”

“ Its great would love it here..and its not too windy and its sometimes sunny.. what more can we ask for ?”

“ OK Donald.. sounds good.. I will be there first thing in the morning .. and look forward to a good adventure with you”

I went to bed happy that night. I still didn’t sleep well because of the noise of the wind and rain on the tent but at least my stomach was full. I though of tomorrow...

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