Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Paddling under Scotland's gloomy skies to dreary beaches...just teasing!

The dreamlike land and waterscape, near Arisaig, 
The deeply evocative landscape of Scotland's west coast takes one's breath completely away. The turquoise, emerald, and deep blue waters, white sandy beaches, and dark volcanic rock create a stunning portrait - wherever you look. Inner Hebridean islands, their mountains reaching into the clouds on the horizon, beckon the paddler to cross yet another world.

lan picked a perfect weather window and an ideal launch spot, Arisaig's Loch nan Cealas, for approximately 30 kilometres of paddling that will linger in the mind and imagination for a very long time to come.

Scottish philosopher, David Hume, wrote, ""Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them." It would be very difficult to imagine a mind that could not contemplate, and be profoundly moved, by this pristine and timeless environment.

Water so crystal's hardly there. 
I have found, through many years of observing, that there is beauty everywhere. Sometimes it is expected, sometimes it is serendipitous. It can be secreted away, visible only when one is persistent. At other times, it is simply everywhere you look, such as in this place. Always, it is a reflection of this marvellous planet that we all share.

Looking "down", from the kayak cockpit,
 reveals a similar beauty to looking "around".
To look for beauty is to find it. To make each such discovery, is to be enriched...and that's why we must always be "searchers". On this day, over the many hours on the water, each paddle stroke, revealed a new and delightful treasure.

Ian and Joan and the distant "Nose of Sgùrr"
on the Inner Hebridean island of Eigg - between the paddle blades.
There's more to come...


  1. Months of rain, terrible insects, stormy seas - nothing to see here folks!

    Thank you both for a wonderful couple of days sea kayaking - those boats look pretty fine; especially now they have some scratches from landing on sandy beaches :-)

    Warm wishes

  2. Agreed, Ian. And then there's the intolerable haggis! This is a most inhospitable part of the world. ;) It was, however, an amazing trip. :) Many thanks to you. Best to you both. Duncan.

  3. Wow looks like a beautiful place to kayak and swim. Glad you got some good paddling days in!
    Not sure why niether of you have mentioned the lack of sidewalks and signals leading to dangers of being a pedestrian over me that was the highlight...much more so than the haggis!

  4. Haha! Thanks for that L. Yes, it's true. On this side of the Atlantic, it can take a small measure of "sangfroid" to be a pedestrian in certain places. Much more predictable to be in the hills or the kayak cockpit! :) Warm wishes. D.

  5. Yes, I can see that you were both enjoying "Blue Sky Scotland" and what a wonderful place Ian took you to explore. Great to see that the ATV is getting you to places others have not ventured near. Did you get Spartan shipped over? as the colour looks the same.

  6. Hi Mike, yes, always "blue sky" Scotland - even under cloud cover. :) The Moderate Terrain Outdoor Pursuits and Kayak Transport Vehicle (MTOPKTV) is running well. Spartan and Solstice are still maintaining "Pacific Watch". :) Warm wishes and see you soon. Duncan.

  7. Lovely! Always a favourite paddling area.



  8. Hi Sarah, thanks so much for that. There are so many such places! :) Warm wishes and happy paddling. Duncan.