Advice please - SHORT paddles around Mull^

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fiona
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Advice please - SHORT paddles around Mull^

Post by fiona » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:56 pm

We are hoping to visit Mull in May. We've not yet planned which ferry to get - from Oban or Lochaline. We will have the kayaks and tent with us. We're planning to stay at Fidden Farm campsite at least some of the time as that's been recommended on here, we're more than willing to move around to other spots as well. What I'm looking for is suggestions for shortish paddles we can do - either day ones or with an overnight camp somewhere.

The slight complication is that I suffer from tendonitis (RSI) in both wrists so have to be pretty careful what I do. Paddling in big waves and wind can cause problems as I have to grip the paddle more and work harder. So I'm really looking for suggestions for shorter paddles - say around 10km or so? And preferably a variety of different ones so we can hopefully find something that is relatively sheltered no matter the wind direction. Planning to be in Mull for around a week then move on to Arran.

All suggestions and advice will be gratefully received - the only place I've ever paddled in Scotland is Orkney!

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:23 pm

Fiona it's a brilliant location,
plenty of ideas here

You can launch from the camp site
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and don't need to go far to find some amazing locations.

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Have a great holiday.
Douglas

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soundoftheseagull
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Post by soundoftheseagull » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:53 pm

First time there for me was last year a fantastic place.
No doubt you will have a good time
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http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=4 ... =776060610
Last edited by soundoftheseagull on Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
Dave

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Owen
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Post by Owen » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:04 pm

If its calm, you could paddle out to Ulva or Gometra; loads of quite camping spots. Best to start from Ulva Ferry which is on the north side of Loch na Keal. Or, you could park along the south shore and explore Inch Kenneth.

fiona
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Post by fiona » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:49 pm

Thanks for the ideas so far. Douglas, it was your website which decided me that Mull was the first 'target' for paddling away from home. And various people on here have mentioned paddling there - I like the idea of paddling to Ulva and exploring Inch Kenneth too.

Looking at maps and things is all very well - but getting feedback from people who've paddled these places is very valuable for my trip planning. I'm starting to get excited already, just hope we get good weather now!

andreadawn
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Post by andreadawn » Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:17 pm

The campsite at Fidden surely has to be one of the finest sited campsites anywhere.
Image

There are plenty of nearby options as Douglas suggests. A trip around Iona is great, although perhaps a bit further than your intended mileage. Maybe you could do two day trips; one exploring the south end as far round as Camas Cuil an t-Saimh and one visiting the beautiful beaches at the north end and the Sound of Iona, perhaps from Kintra? (It can be a bit lumpy off the SW corner of Iona.) The south side of the Ross is very beautiful too.

As Owen suggests, Ulva and Gometra are great. A liesurely two day trip around both is excellent. It was one of my earliest outings.

A trip out of Lochbuie along to Frank Lochwood's Island and back makes a good little day trip too, albeit along a rather remote coastline..

The north coast, between Tobermery and Caliach Point also looks quite pleasant. I've walked a lot of it but not yet got around to paddling it.

Are you sure you only want to stay a week on Mull?

Andrea.

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:16 pm

andreadawn wrote:The campsite at Fidden surely has to be one of the finest sited campsites anywhere.
Image

There are plenty of nearby options as Douglas suggests. A trip around Iona is great, although perhaps a bit further than your intended mileage. Maybe you could do two day trips; one exploring the south end as far round as Camas Cuil an t-Saimh and one visiting the beautiful beaches at the north end and the Sound of Iona, perhaps from Kintra? (It can be a bit lumpy off the SW corner of Iona.) The south side of the Ross is very beautiful too.

As Owen suggests, Ulva and Gometra are great. A liesurely two day trip around both is excellent. It was one of my earliest outings.

A trip out of Lochbuie along to Frank Lochwood's Island and back makes a good little day trip too, albeit along a rather remote coastline..

The north coast, between Tobermery and Caliach Point also looks quite pleasant. I've walked a lot of it but not yet got around to paddling it.

Are you sure you only want to stay a week on Mull?

Andrea.
Yes - Fidden is a lovely campsite - modern ameneties (well a couple of toilets and a shower housed in a portacabin). View to die for and entertainment provided by local wildlife - in this case a basking shark patrolling the waters about 50 ft off shore.

I still liked the Ulva trip - best idea is, as Owen suggested, set off from ferry at Ulva - we made the mistake of setting off from bottom of loch and on return trip - guess what - wind against tide! made for a long slog!

Great wild camping sites along the way - complete with otter and mink! Good weather - paddle out to Staffa - would post photos but my computer is not liking me tonight! Andrea has some.

Back to Ulva and then next day - around Gometra and back end of Ulva to ferry terminal.

A week is not enough!

H - x

ps - We'll be there first week in June if anyone wants to join us.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:26 pm

Image

Carsaig Arches are also worth a visit.

Douglas

andreadawn
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Post by andreadawn » Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:06 am

I forgot to add, if you enjoy walking as well (for those very rare occasions in Scotland when it's too windy to go paddling!), there are a couple of good little, locally published walking guides to Mull.

Looky here and scroll down to the second and third entries. There are loads of coastal walks described including Carsaig Arches as mentioned by Douglas. You should be able to pick up these booklets locally if you are interested. If you get a clear day which is too windy for paddling, it's also worth walking up Ben More. The views are outstanding. The easiest route starts at Dhiseig on Loch na Keal.

Andrea.

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Simon Willis
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Post by Simon Willis » Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:31 pm

Four Mull-based routes on this page
S

rrigguttiee
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Post by rrigguttiee » Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:02 pm

Fiona - Glad you asked the question as we're going to be on Mull first week in May to try to get some paddling in (weather/one year old/grandparents permitting!). Might see you there, or meet up for a paddle?

Ian and Helen
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adrian j pullin
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Post by adrian j pullin » Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:02 pm

As you can see from the above, your problem is not finding some suitable paddles but selecting which of the many to do.

I would recommend getting on at Fidden and turning left. You can make your way between all the islettes down past Erraid. There are so many small islands etc that you can do an out and back trip but take different routes so you see different things.


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Erraid as the sun is setting


It is less than 2km across the sound. Put in at Fionnphort and paddle to Iona. There are small beaches just north of the ferry jetties on both sides. Call in at the cafe on Iona for tea and cakes, or take a stroll to the Abbey, or both. If you want a longer paddle, get in at the beach by the ferry and turn right, go up Bull hole, then across and down the Iona side.

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The split rock on the beach at Fionphort at high tide. You can still launch from here. How long has this been here?

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North Sound of Iona, just west of Bull Hole

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Tea on Iona (sorry boys!)

When I went there (1st storm gathering) there were three trips I wanted to do:

Round Iona,
Fossil Tree
Staffa.

These might be a bit long for you, though. I didn't do any of them because Mark had gathered some very big storms! Still, must go back and do them.

There is also the Sound of Mull. A very pleasant (and much more sheltered) paddle can be had launching from the large car park by the distillery in Tobermory, out round Calve Island and across/up/down the sound.

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Calve Island

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Looking South down Sound of Mull, with air support!

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Having two lifeboats is reassuring!

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My planned route and track.


And finally...

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The saddest sight of a trip to Mull. Be prepared for a broken heart?
Cheers

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

fiona
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Post by fiona » Fri May 30, 2008 12:10 pm

Many thanks to everyone for all the great advice. We had a fantastic holiday. The weather was perfect, and I was extremely pleased by how well my wrists held out and the amount of paddling that I was able to do.

There's lots of photos on my website www.orcadiaimages.co.uk in the kayaking out of Orkney album, but here's some here (hope this works!):

Tobermory
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Fidden
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Pink rocks of Fidden
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Returning to the campsite
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Friendly gull at the campsite
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Fidden sunset
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Eorsa and Loch na Keal
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Jellyfish 'nursey' we found in a sheltered spot behind one of the islands off the south end of Ulva. I'm not sure how well they'll show in the photo - but there were some bigger jellyfish and literally thousands of tiny ones.
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Puffin on the Treshnish Isles (we took a boat trip out there as that was way too far for me to paddle)
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We had a great time and will definitely be paddling on Mull again as soon as finances etc allow.

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adrian j pullin
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Post by adrian j pullin » Fri May 30, 2008 2:27 pm

My jealousy knows no bounds!

Great photos as well!
Cheers

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

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soundoftheseagull
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Post by soundoftheseagull » Fri May 30, 2008 8:51 pm

Great photos it’s a fantastic place we had our planning meet this Thursday and are hoping to get there end of June.
Dave

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Cameron
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Post by Cameron » Sat May 31, 2008 7:56 am

Great photos Fiona, I must get to Fidden sometime soon.
I have just enjoyed browsing your site for 1/2 hr whilst delaying the start of work for the day. It reminds me that Orkney is still on my list of things to do. I particularly liked the seasonal, atmospheric landscapes with colour and texture.

Cameron

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Sat May 31, 2008 3:31 pm

Were you there at the same time as us Fiona? We went last Saturday and got back home today. The weather we had was amazing. Just one non paddling day!

Isn't it a stunning place?

H - x

fiona
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Post by fiona » Sat May 31, 2008 3:44 pm

We were there a couple of weeks ago - 11th May for almost a week. I've been to Mull in the past but that was my first visit since I started paddling.

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