Friday, January 12, 2007

Early Days

I'm aware that my blog has increasingly gained visitors and whilst I've been publishing my thoughts and experimenting with what can be done, I've written very little about sea kayaking. So here's something about how it started........

In 1989, I began a long and valuable relationship with a small centre on the Isle of Mull called Camas. I'd gone to visit a friend, Lucy, who was working on Iona and one day, whilst at a loose end, she suggested we visit another freind at Camas which is on the Ross of Mull. It was great to see a new place, especially one that had outdoor activities on the programme, as there is only so much you can do on Iona. When the centre warden, Helen, learnt I was a climber she offered me the chance to work there as a volunteer and help run the abseil sessions amongst other things. With not much else happening that summer I agreed. One of the upsides for me was meeting April Steward who was keen to get me in a kayak. To begin with I was dubious, having had some bad white water experiences previously. Yet, after my first tentative outing in the bay and then a trip round to the lighthouse at Na Liathanaich, I was convinced this was the way forward for me in terms of finding fresh adventures

So from then on, every day off I had was spent in my trusty Torridon. Whether it was out to Bunessan, into Loch Scridain, out to Staffa, over to Iona. With or without paddling companions. Just being able to enjoy the freedom and to feel like an explorer in new territory. Something I still feel today and not something I often get from mountaineering. Rarely does a year go by without a trip to Mull. It will always be a part of celebrationing how my sea kayaking interests began

If you get the chance to go to Mull there is some much to see. Puffins on Staff, Seals at Erraid, Basking Shark around Ulva. There are big open crossing to be had as well as short coastal hops that take you to golden beaches and back for a good pint in the Keel Row at Ffionphort

As for how it might all end..............I'll leave that one to Poseidon

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