Flat Calm in the Summer Isles

A few pictures from a 5-hour, 22-km paddle round the Summer Isles on a rare day of near-zero wind and hot, sunny skies.
From Badenscallie I went south past Horse Island and Iolla Mhor to Carn nan Sgeir, a quick loop around Meall nan Caolach, just a mile from the south side of Loch Broom, then right across to Tanera Beg to revive the legs with a walk up to the summit, and finally back to Badentarbet. Noticeable is the lack of fatigue when there’s no wind or waves to cut through. I’d have been more tired walking the same distance. A few days and a bit more wind later, I did a 14-km lap round Tanera Beg and was pooped.

Glistening, brassy kelp round the back of Meall nan Caoloach, or Sheep’s Hill.

Strange dangular life forms you only see at very low tides.

Chestnutty limpets.

Faults and folds on Carn’s south side.

View north to Ben Mor on the way across to Tanera Beg.

South of Tanera Mor, the cabin’s roof on Eilean Dubh.

Landfall at Mol Bheag on Tanera Beg. Should I worry about the rising tide? I’ll only be gone half an hour. (Sorry – bit of lens smudge from here onwards.)

On T.Beg’s 83-m summit looking ENE towards Achiltibuie and the Assynt mountains.

Southwest, the curious wedge-skerry of Stac Mhic Aonghais – Cliff of Angus. Must try and nip out there one time.

Boat still there with two rocks on the anchor line.

Looking SE: Carn nan Sgeir back left; Eilean Dubh on the right. A trawler passes by.

Storm-mashed tin can.

I find a superb crate/bench from a Fraserburgh trawler, and a massive pearl, too. Incredibly, this one is pre-threaded for a necklace which makes it even more valuable.

In just 40 mins the tide has risen a metre. I forgot that at mid-flow the rate of change is much greater. I wade in up to my shorts and clamber on with my treasures.Round the corner I come across the Tanera Beg arch.

Enough to pass under, but not enough to get right through.

The birds are disturbed.

The sandy green depths between T. Beg and Eilean Fada Mor – aka: Caolas na Gainmhich.

Crystal-clear reflections – but always the racket of a boat somewhere. Makes a change from wind, I suppose.

Back towards Badentarbet after a great half-day out.

I notice several beer bottles bobbing around near the pier and sink them. Better that than smashed on a beach. Left last night by some beach campers, I suppose.

As tradition requires, I pass under the prematurely condemned pier. They say the new owner of Tanera Mor (who already has the diggers in), might replace Badentarbet pier with a floating jetty to serve his planned island restaurant. Currently, Old Dornie jetty is twice as far and tide-limited.

On the beach the owner of the cute Salmon Bothy is trying to locate an oystercatcher nest.

Can you spot the eggs? ETH 3 weeks.

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