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2022 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip – Day 08 Sunday Mull – Carsaig Bay to Port Gart an Fhithrich by Ian Bell

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2022 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip

Day 08 Sunday Mull – Carsaig Bay to Port Gart an Fhithrich by Ian Bell

Having had a good night on the five-star elevated campsite in Carisaig bay we timed are departure to be close to local high water so there would be little or no carry. This also meant we would get the best of the tide to assist us along the southern coast of the Ross of Mull. The aim of the day was to get to the northern end of the sound of Iona and find camping on the Mull side as camping on Iona is not allowed.

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With the tide pushing us along our way, we made good time. The first part of the day saw us passing high cliffs with several stepped waterfalls, sea arches and caves. This area is home to a couple of herds of goats which we saw grazing along the shoreline.

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Once we passed Rubba Nam Braithrean the coast starts to become more broken with lower cliffs bounded by sandy coves. We stayed slightly offshore as we crossed Ardalanish bay to get the best of the tide and rounded Rubh’ Ardalanish. We eventually stopped for elevenses on the beach at Eilean Mor. This was either the second breakfast or first lunch, depending on your point of view. By this time, we had already covered in excess of 20k today.

From here the coast changes again with a number of skerries and off-lying rocks and eyelets. This area is also the most exposed to Atlantic swells. Even though the conditions on this day were perfectly calm and flat all morning, as we approached the turn into the sound of Iona, we did experience a few large rolling swells. By now the tide was low and approaching slack, so we needed to ensure we did not cut into one of the drying channels between the rocks as we made our way around the corner.

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As we paddled up the Sound of Iona we met other kayaks, paddle boarders and a family just out on the beach. We stayed on the mull side of the sound so had good views across to the Abby on Iona. We called into Fionnphort, the point at which the ferry crosses to Iona. This was like returning to civilisation due to the number of people around. It is a key stopping point for the Mull coach trips. We took the opportunity to refill our drinking water, get ice cream and use a proper loo. As we took a second break here for our second elevenses, the local cat came to befriend us. Unfortunately, he did not get many leftovers from our lunch but did appreciate the attention.

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We continued North, up the sound of Iona and then turned east to find a campsite for the evening. After the shortest leg of the day, and after about 5km we landed in a sheltered bay near Rubha na Reiing. This would give us an ideal starting point for the next section of the trip and several options, depending on the weather the following day.

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