We could not have asked for a better crossing of Loch Nan Uamh. The swell was gone and the sea was quiet. So was Douglas and that worried me a little. I could sense the pain in his lower limbs as he paddled steadily but stiffly towards Eilean nan Caber.
Eilean nan Caber has a beautiful profile from the west. It looks almost round and almost perfectly pyramidal in shape. There are not many islands in Loch nan Uamh that are covered in trees. I wondered what made them grow so ?
We were now in the heart of the Galapagos of rocky islands in Loch nan Uamh
Douglas paddled on bravely. Even I was getting stiff from sitting in my boat for most of the day so stood up and stretched my legs. Alas, all Douglas could do was twiddle his toes in the narrow confines of his hull.
He put on a brave face when he met another party of kayakers in the shelter of Eilean an Sgurra. He took the opportunity to give his arms a rest and gently exercise his mouth. I took a break too and started to fish.
Some of the islands seemed to generate their own weather systems. This rocky outcrop had an almost identical cloud reflection in the sky.
The afternoon was wearing on and the sun was getting lower. It had been a strange summer.. I had hardly see any sun since June. It was now September and I could sense the darker days of winter drawing nigh already.
Some of the islands have huge rock towers on them, almost like ancient fortifications. It was in this area of Loch Nan Uamb that two French warships carrying troops and gold to support Bonnie Prince Charlie’s cause were attacked by the Royal Navy in 1746. Some of the French troops escaped along with the gold which was hidden in the area and subsequently lost. Its a pity we were too tired to look for it as I’m sure it is still on that island
I shouted across to Douglas as he started to lag behind a little.. “ Dont worry ..its only another three miles to Port nam Murrach ..and that’s where we planned to camp for the night .. I will get the dinner on when we land and you rest a bit”
I guestimated that Douglas had already paddled well over twenty miles since the morning, lost at least a pint of blood, sweated at least a couple of pints of water, and been cooped up in a kayak for ten hours... little did we know then ... there was more to come ....