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2022 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip – Day 09 Monday Mull – Port Gart an Fhithrich to Calgary Bay by Andy Garland

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2022 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip

Day 09 Monday Mull – Port Gart an Fhithrich to Calgary Bay by Andy Garland

Today was going to be a long one! We were camped on the southwestern side of the large open bay that separated us from Treshnish Point, which was around 25km to the north. One of our options would be to make a direct crossing, only briefly making contact with land at the Isle of Staffa about halfway across (although it was unlikely that we could land there).

Another option would be to take the long way around, paddling closer to shore around the eastern rim of the bay. This would avoid a committing, open water crossing but would add considerably to the distance.

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Our decision of which route to take was dictated by the updated weather forecast that morning – south westerly offshore winds, freshening during the day – we would take the long route. The day’s paddling started with a relatively short crossing to the Ardmeanach Peninsula, followed by a coast-hugging journey along its northern shores.

A group of people riding surfboardsDescription automatically generated with low confidence The coastal scenery along this section is truly spectacular… Waterfalls plunging down 300m high cliffs into cavernous bays with vertical walls. It was other-worldly, like something from Lord of the Rings. This stretch of coast is marked on the map as ‘The Wilderness’ – a very apt description.

Our journey then led us to the island of Ulva, which we passed on its western side via a narrow channel that separates it from the Isle of Mull ‘mainland’. We pressed on and finally passed Treshnis Point, but we still had a few more kilometres of paddling until we reached our intended camp for the night at a sandy beach in Calgary Bay.

However, once inside the bay we could see that the golden sandy beach would involve a long carry of boats to get them above the high-water mark. The sight and noise of quad bikes racing up and down the beach didn’t add to its attractiveness either. We, therefore, settled on a much quieter camping spot by a disused pier about 1km from the beach. Yes, it had been a long day – around 43km – but the scenery and views had been exceptional.

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