Mull really is Magic ... ^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
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Helen M
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Mull really is Magic ... ^

Post by Helen M » Sat May 31, 2008 2:14 pm

Met up with Kate D on Friday night and caught the last ferry to Mull - pitching camp in the dark at Fidden was a wee bit challenging cause we couldn't remember where we'd packed the camping lights and torches!

Awoke to a glorious day - the first of many.

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Dave made up the boat and we set off around Iona in the afternoon.

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We found loads of nooks and crannies to explore - managed to notch up 18k.

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Sunday we paddled over to the Ross of Mull to look for the fossil tree. I think we found it, although it was a wee bit non-descript - if you didn't know what you were looking for you could easily miss it! Saw some puffins on the way over - one of which surfaced right infront of me - don't know who was more startled - me or the puffin!

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In our terms it was a long paddle that day - 35k.

Kate put us to shame the next day - Dave and I were tired so we decided to put the sailing rig up and go for a sail. Kate set off for Staffa (from Fidden). She then paddled out to Lunga and over to Dutchmans Cap before returning in a force 4 with a following sea! A mere 46k!

The following day we decided a wee bimble was in order. The weather was still fantastic. We paddled out through Tinkers Hole and explored the rocky outcrops behind them before heading out to Soay - a wee island 3k out.

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We were not alone on the island! Mark who runs Alternative Boats on Iona was there with a group from his boat trip - we'd met him on our paddle round Iona - he paddled with us for a bit of the way round. He very kindly made us a cup of tea.

We paddled over to Iona from Soay and managed to suprise some seals who were sitting on a rock minding their own business!

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It was what came next that took all our breaths away. A close encounter with a basking shark!

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It swam round us for half an hour before moving on - there was a lot of plankton blooming in the water and it was very localised.

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It really made out week.

Wednesday the weather turned a wee bit colder and wetter - kate made the decision to go back as she had work on Friday. we dropped her off at Craignure and headed to Tobermory.

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Thursday the weather improved in the afternoon so we went for a paddle with Penny, Naomi and Annabel. Found a lovely coral beach and spent an hour collecting shells and watching the seals. That evening the sunset was spectacular.

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Friday we paddled with Penny, Ken and the girls again. Another fantastic day - found some beautiful beaches. All in all it was a fantastic holiday. I will be back - AGAIN!

BTW - work is now in progress to convert the old farm buildings into a nice new shower and toilet block.

What a week.

H - x

fiona
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Post by fiona » Sat May 31, 2008 3:23 pm

Fantastic photos Helen, makes me want to visit Mull again soon....
That basking shark encounter sounds amazing.

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Sat May 31, 2008 6:38 pm

Forgot to mention the 'Kirk Ceilidh' we went to on Wednesday night. The local talent was showcased and the women of the kirk provided tea (all for £3)! There was home made coffee cake, meringue, sandwiches, scones with cream and strawberries, mars bars cakes .... it was never ending! It would have been exceedingly rude of us not to have tried it all - so we did!

Penny let me 'Strip the Willow' with Ken. Thanks Penny/Ken.

Great night.

H - x

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:38 am

Great basking shark photo - I've never managed to get all three 'components' (tail, dorsal fin, head) in shot at the same time ...
Mark Rainsley
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Mike Marshall
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Post by Mike Marshall » Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:28 pm

Helen,
Awesome report. Great piccys too.
About to head North ourselves, (last week of June) to the same spot :-)
If we get the same weather slot I for one will be very happy.

MikeM

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:50 pm

The water was incredibly clear and looked fantastic with the sunlight reflecting off it.

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Then there's the obigatory boat on beach photo:

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Having to say 'Goodbye' sucks!

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Still - Fares may be cheaper next year - at least the OH ones will!

h - x

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adrian j pullin
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Post by adrian j pullin » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:34 am

Helen M wrote:Having to say 'Goodbye' sucks!

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h - x


I couldn't agree more. Great stuff, Helen!
Cheers

Adrian J Pullin
-------------------------------------------------------
"No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
Kayak lore: "He who capsizes must also roll".

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tizereyes
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Post by tizereyes » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:21 pm

A little bit of sunshine and the Scottish islands just 'glow'.

Looks amazing. I want to go there. Right now will do!

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adrian j pullin
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Post by adrian j pullin » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:50 am

If anyone really can't take it any more...

There are currently 49 properties for sale on Mull, ranging from building plots at £55k through old houses to new build 5 bedroom properties at a modest £750k. See:

http://www.primelocation.com/uk-propert ... e-of-mull/

...and I'm stuck in an office in Liverpool ... must be doing something wrong!
Cheers

Adrian J Pullin
-------------------------------------------------------
"No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
Kayak lore: "He who capsizes must also roll".

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:26 pm

Hmm, nothing built within my price range, with my understanding of Scottish island economy it's surprising there are any locals left based on the property prices!

If I could just have found a house I might have had a chance of convincing my boss to let me work from home, or set up a new branch office.... :-)

andreadawn
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Post by andreadawn » Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:59 am

Hi Helen.

Lovely piccies. Sorry I didn't manage to get back to see you at Fidden. I set off for the Treshnish Isles but the wind got up to force six by the time I was half way there (the inshore waters forecast had said 'increasing six at times') and I turned tail and scampered back to the shelter of Ulva, before spending a couple of days pottering around the shores of Loch na Keal. After that I had a sudden urge to head for Skye.

Oh well, that makes it Treshnish 3 Andrea 0. Next year perhaps...........

Andrea.

ps Good to hear that Fidden is going to get some new showers. The portacabin is a bit past its best!

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JP9
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Post by JP9 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:43 pm

Hi Helen,
Great photos, it makes me want to re-visit Mull and Iona. Last time my wife and I, visited Iona we spent only one day there, just not long enough for this beautiful island.
Thanks

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:40 pm

Hello Helen thanks for this great post. It brought back great memories of our own Mull trip last year.
Douglas :o)

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soundoftheseagull
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Post by soundoftheseagull » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:01 am

Just got back, winds are picking up but we managed to get some classic paddles in.
A fantastic place made better by good company food and wine, beer, and whisky hic!
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Slide Show
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Dave

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gizmo
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Post by gizmo » Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:27 pm

Great photos Dave - A real tonic on a Friday afternoon stuck in the office.
Paul

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Kate D
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Post by Kate D » Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:08 pm

Helen,

Fantastic pictures and a great trip report. See you in Uist?

Kate

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Mike Marshall
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Post by Mike Marshall » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:14 am

To add to Dave's photos.
Here are a few more.

Gavin on the Staffa Start
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A wee break before the open crossing :-)
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Staffa Approach from Fidden
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The Locals
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Angelic Tern
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Short break on Eilian Annraidh on the return paddle, deep in thoughts :-)
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Some wonderful wine, food and a classic sunset to complete a memorable day.
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MikeM

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:38 pm

Kate D wrote:Helen,

Fantastic pictures and a great trip report. See you in Uist?

Kate


You certainly will. Hope you get your www for the long paddle over to St Kilda - hopefully we'll hear all about it.

Mike M - great photos - it really is an awesome place. The Angelic Tern is certainly a photographic winner - will keep my eye out for comps for you.

H - x

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Mike Marshall
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Post by Mike Marshall » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:31 pm

Helen M wrote:
Kate D wrote:Helen,

Fantastic pictures and a great trip report. See you in Uist?

Kate


You certainly will. Hope you get your www for the long paddle over to St Kilda - hopefully we'll hear all about it.

Mike M - great photos - it really is an awesome place. The Angelic Tern is certainly a photographic winner - will keep my eye out for comps for you.

H - x



NOOOOOO!!!...not someone else going over to St Kilda, I cant stand it.

MikeM :-)

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:52 pm

[quote="Mike Marshall

NOOOOOO!!!...not someone else going over to St Kilda, I cant stand it.

MikeM :-)[/quote]

Kate is planning to paddle from North Uist! No namby pamby boat trip for her! lol OK - she is hoping to get a lift back from Neil in his supa dupa rib.

Am sure it'll be an 'experience'!

H - x

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Mike Marshall
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Post by Mike Marshall » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:12 pm

Helen M wrote:Kate is planning to paddle from North Uist! No namby pamby boat trip for her! lol OK - she is hoping to get a lift back from Neil in his supa dupa rib.

Am sure it'll be an 'experience'!

H - x


Just checking Memory Map now and that's 65K from North Uist. Thats with no real tidal assistance either, I presume.

Good Luck Kate :-)

I am going next year, without fail.

MikeM

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:33 pm

[quote="Mike Marshall Just checking Memory Map now and that's 65K from North Uist. Thats with no real tidal assistance either, I presume.

Good Luck Kate :-)

I am going next year, without fail.

MikeM[/quote]

I think Kate was reckoning on 12 hours to get over there - that's one hell of a WWW

H - x

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Skerryvore
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Post by Skerryvore » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:34 pm

Mike M totally awesome pictures.
Spain Well done and deserved.
---------
skerryvore

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Mike Marshall
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Post by Mike Marshall » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:49 pm

Mark R wrote:Great basking shark photo - I've never managed to get all three 'components' (tail, dorsal fin, head) in shot at the same time ...


You need another lens Mark.
It always happens when you go Digital SLR...aka DW :-)

MikeM

andreadawn
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Post by andreadawn » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:03 pm

Lovely pics Dave and Mike. I particularly like the bird pics Mike.

I'm suffering severe withdrawal symptoms, not having managed to get out since returning from my hols.

Andrea.

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leohoare
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Post by leohoare » Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:15 pm

really great pics !!!

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Kate D
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Post by Kate D » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:51 pm

If anyone fancies attempting the crossing to St Kilda, I'm looking for some company.
Failing that, I'll be based in North Uist from mid July til the end of September. The paddling is awesome and it would be great to have some company for paddling when I'm not working.

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Hans Heupink
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Mull realy is magic...

Post by Hans Heupink » Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:56 pm

Hi Helen!
What a coincidence and what a surprise to find your fantastic pictures here! At Tuesday 28th of June I paddled together with Govert around Iona. We lunched at the beach next to the pier of Baile Mór where we met a couple paddling in a Feathercraft-double and a blond lady in a Greenlander-Pro :-) -> you and Kate? The lady in the Greenlander tipped us about the basking shark, feeding south of Iona.
When we passed there - between Iona and Soa-Island the shark was still swimming around. It was a breath-taking experience, being so close to such a giant sea-animal - fantastic - thanks for the tip!
Your picture of the shark and the kayak is awesome - I have made a link to it in our trip-report: www kajakwoerden.blogspot.com/2008/06/scotland-journey-1-mull-west-coast
Hans Heupink
NKB Sea Kayak Instructor

weblog: www.kajakwoerden.blogspot.com

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:15 pm

Hi Hans - yes that was Kate and myself. Glad you managed to find the basking shark. It really was a fantastic experience.

You were very lucky with the weather - glad you had such a fantastic time in Scotland. I'm sure you'll be back.

H - x

ps - Great blog

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