Skip to content

2022 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip – Day 11 Wednesday Mull – Rubh` an t-Sean Chaisteil to Duart Castle – by Debbie Hughes

  • by
A group of people in a canoe Description automatically generated with low confidence

2022 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip

Day 11 Wednesday Mull – Rubh` an t-Sean Chaisteil to Duart Castle – by Debbie Hughes

Time to leave our 5* campsite, no midges, running water, superb views, and tackle a long day  – all the way down the Sound of Mull to the far end.

Catriona was in charge of navigation, and to iron out the dog leg of the sound we set off for the far bank on the mainland side. There was some tidal assistance but a bit of a breeze in our faces. Crossed over and the plan was to cross back over to another” green knobbly bit” (a technical term used frequently) on the Mull side but that was delayed a bit due to other shipping to be avoided, ferries etc.

Back on the Mull side, we headed towards Fishnish Pier where the ferry crosses over to Loch Aline and we were going to have elevenses – another technical term for any stop regardless of the time of day! One little problem, there was a very large fish farm which stretched right out into the sound and the only way to get to our stopping place was to get across five solid plastic pipes coming from the farm onto the shore. Keith, Andy and Ian launched over it with very little trouble – Catriona and I, however, now have embarrassing photographic evidence of being well and truly stranded on top of the pipes, having to be hauled off by Andy and Keith. Relief to get to the food stop……

MapDescription automatically generated

After refuelling and using the pier facilities, we set off for the afternoon, and the breeze had dropped by now, but we would shortly lose the tide. Another encounter with a very large ship who was moving towards us, very slowly, near the Glas Eileanan rocks out in the main channel, caused us to group together to ponder his intentions. He must have realised our dilemma and turned onto a definite heading avoiding us. We paddled swiftly past, and he gave us a cheery toot on the horn as we went by.

The campsite search began shortly after that and we ventured into Scallcastle Bay to suss out another golf course site but it didn’t pass muster, then on round the point and past Craignure where scouts went ashore at an official campsite but that too was rejected – Astroturf tent site? What is that all about? There was also a very unpleasant sewage smell on the beach there… And you had to pay…

So, we got back on the water and paddled another 3ish kilometres to Duart Bay and set up camp right underneath Duart Castle. (The castle was wrapped in scaffolding on the side we approached from and didn’t look like a castle at all until we saw it in the morning when we left round the other side) The locals were friendly and we helped them lift their boat off a trailer and put it into winter storage under a tarp, thus ensuring we didn’t get shoo-ed away. Another excellent camp spot, with great views up the Sound. Didn’t see any sea eagles, but we did see a deer when Catriona and I went for a little explore up to the castle. Think Andy and Ian saw deer too.

There is nothing to beat a wee dram on a lonely beach in the wilds of Scotland after a hard day’s paddling. The whisky supplies have to be eeked out to last the whole trip. Andy had saved his last dram for the end of the trip and horror of horrors, managed to tip it over before he got the chance to drink it – the only thing handy to mop up the spillage were his socks…..arghhhh….

More photos……… IconDescription automatically generated

A picture containing tree, outdoor, waterDescription automatically generatedA group of people in a canoeDescription automatically generated with low confidence