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 Justine's Journal

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Hebridean wonder
Friday, October 26, 2007

A wild storm ushered us off the Hebrides this morning - not by kayak, but by ferry! Winter is definately on the way and it was definately too stormy to paddle 20-odd miles into. I had a great time on Lewis - it's a beautiful, wild, wind-battered place with hundreds of craggy islands, improbably white sandy beaches and steep bleak cliffs pounded by swell. We had great fun paddling with the locals and appreciated their love of down-wind paddling. I'm glad we got to paddle down Loch Seaforth in a stiff southerly as I remember Mike talking about it a year ago on Mull - what a fantastic idea to just paddle one-way pushed by the wind! The Storm Gathering was a great success and everyone seemed to have fun braving the weather in a stunning location. Barry and I went off twice on overnight trips, travelling up the west coast, finding beautiful campspots and always being pushed northwards by a force 4 or stronger wind. We had a fun evening on Taransay with Mick Berwick ( the location of the BBC Castaway programme), and enjoyed a 29 nautical mile day which ended with us being pushed by the wind and the tide around Galen Head as darkness fell. I am already planning to come back next Summer and I hope to make it out to St Kilda and the Flannans aswell as see the summer birds. Tomorrow ( Saturday ) we are off to the Scottish Canoe Show in Perth where we're both giving talks - Barry about his trip around Britain and me about the Queen Charlotte Islands. Then tomorrow night, it's another ceilidh!! My sore back survived the Storm Gathering ceilidh so should be OK for another one!!


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