This event has been running for the past few years on the last bank holiday weekend in May, providing a great way to kick off the summer Sea Kayaking season. The event was organised and run by Patrick Winterton, the latest addition to the Team P&H Paddlers.
We had some fantastic weather and by the sounds of it possible some of the best in the country, which was lucky as we had erected a canvas city on the beach.
On the Friday we paddled out from Oskamull for about 5 miles to the campsite, set up, saw old friends and met new ones and consolidated those friendships with a large selection of single Malt whiskeys that had appeared from the depths of hatches, (I think we had actually taken more whiskey that water!)
Day two, with quiet seas and little wind we headed out to Fingles cave on Staffa.
This is the start of the volcanic geology that can be seen on the Giants Causeway in N. Ireland and is a spectacular sight.
Fingles cave has been know to have musicians come and play in it due to its acoustic qualities, and we were no exception, With a ukulele and penny whistles accompanying, fingle was even rocking in the cave! So much so, after the jamming session was complete a few of the whistles were thrown into the water, by the rock stars(…………………..well carelessly dropped, but it did make for some fun diving!)
Upon return to camp after a good paddle home and some fishing on the way (didn't catch anything, apparently 'all the mackerel have been fished out', or so I'm told). It was time for dinner, a camp fire whiskey, some singing and more music making. Not to mention the 'Sea Base' added to the band, which had been carefully crafted to make use of the rear hatch of a sea boat as the body of the base.
The Saturday was an great day with the sun shining and a gentle breeze, every one was chilling out for the morning, so we took the opportunity to try and rig up some kite kayak sailing. The Afternoon was spend exploring the coastline round Ulva and spotting some rare sights including two sea otters and a sea eagle, and seeing an impressive rainbow.
The end of the day saw a fantastic sun set.
On the Monday we had to head home from our few days of paddling but not without a quick stop on the way to check out how the new P&H Delphin performed in the Falls Of Laura.
What a great end to a fantastic weekend.
Thanks to Patrick for organising it and I think we will be back next year!
Words and Images: Richard Taylor