2021 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip to the Summer Isles
Day 07 Saturday Glencoul bothy To Kylesku slipway by Alan Peachment
The last day; otherwise known as, the day on which everyone was on the water before Keith had started to load is boat.
The last day proved the rule that there are twice as many midges in the morning as there are in the evening. They definitely know that you are in your tent and wait by the entrance for you to emerge and then descend en-masse. There were so many that our clothes shimmered as the light caught their wings.
The final camp site on week 1 – looking idyllic before the midges appeared.
Because of the number of midges, nobody was bothered about loitering on the beach to have breakfast. It was a case of de-camping as quickly as possible to get on the water and then eat breakfast sufficiently far offshore not to be bothered by the midges.
Maybe it was because it was the last day and the desire for a lay-in, or maybe it was the midges. Whatever it was, Keith didn’t emerge from his tent until all but two of the team were on the water; with everyone on the water before he moved his boat. For those of you who know Keith, this is almost un-heard of. He always, almost without fail, is the first on the water. I am not saying that this was a factor in how quickly everyone got going on this day but…..
The plan was to paddle to the end of the loch and see a magnificent waterfall which cascaded down the side of the mountain. Unfortunately, due to combination of low cloud and the fact that the waterfall didn’t actually cascade into the loch, there was very little to be seen. Still, it was better than a straight paddle to simply paddling to our endpoint at Kylesku.
The paddle to Kylesku was straight forward with good sea conditions.
The view from the beach at the final camp site on week 1.
Having loaded our boats onto the cars which we had shuttled earlier in the week, we then set off back to Ullapool. The ones who need to wait at Kylesku had to slum it in the local hotel eating, what is by all accounts, an excellent cooked breakfast. Some of compensated for missing out on the breakfast by diverting to Lockinver to pay a visit to the pie shop.
Once back in Ullapool it was a case of either setting off back South for the 500-mile journey or convalescing in Ullapool ahead of the second week of paddling.
Some final observations:
- We had awesome weather.
- The paddling in this part of the world is fantastic.
- You can’t beat paddling with a group on a long journey.
- Wild camping has to be experienced.
- Keith has a habit of operating in ‘parent mode’ – “we are nearly there”, “it is just around the corner”. And the best, “there was definitely a beach here on Google Earth!”.
- There is nothing quite like a pie from Lochinver after a long morning’s paddle.
- There are one or two midges in Scotland.
|World War II’s X men, crews of the dangerous X class midget submarines. These crews trained in the lochs near Kylesku
X24 on display at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum (Photo right)
The anniversary of the 1943 mission of raiding a German battleship using small and dangerous X class midget submarine or X-craft is being marked. The raid was one of several heroic attempts against the Germans. Kylesku is a small remote fishing settlement in Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands. On the north side of the Kylesku Bridge, a cairn was erected in 1993 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bold and daring feat of the XIIth Submarine Flotilla, a unit of X-craft.
A recognition drawing of Tirpitz prepared by the US Navy (Photo below)
At the nearby Loch Cairnbaun, North West Scotland, the submariners of flotilla trained in using the 52 feet long X-class submarines armed with explosive charges. They were preparing to launch an attack against the German battleship Tirpitz, which was the second among the two Bismarck-class battleships, the largest the German navy had. Tirpitz was protected by anti-torpedo and submarine nets in Norway’s Alten Fjord and posed a great threat to the allied force supplying Russia with weapons and ammunitions. The presence of Tirpitz engaged warships of Britain’s Royal Navy which were badly needed in other warzones, especially in the North Atlantic.
To see more pages from the whole trip go to the Major trips and Expedition reports tab on the club website or click here…….