- illustrated trip report by Tony Page

TRIP REPORT: "Eileach an Naoimh via the Corryvreckan"




DATE(S) OF TRIP: 7-8th June 2003 (neaps)

WHERE?: West Coast of Scotland OS 55 map.

LAUNCH SPOTS: Put-in take-out at the Craobh Haven. Parked in lay-by at end of road past the Hotel and carried boats to small bay on the outside SW corner of Marina.

DISTANCE/ TIME: 80km over 2 days.

LOCAL TIDES: Tides are very strong in the Corryvreckan and Cuan sound. Need to time the tides carefully and factor-in the differences between the tides during spring or neap tides (check pilot).

HAZARDS/ PROBLEMS: The timing of the Corryvreckan passage is vital. We passed along the South shore of Scarba, entering the gulf 1 hour before it was due to turn and flood west. We found a strong eddy opposing the East-going ebb, which allowed us to pass through relatively easily. In the area just East of the submerged pinnacle (site of whirlpool) the current was piling into the shore and the water was very turbulent. The Western Exit of the Gulf was also turbulent due to the incoming SW swell. Note
that there are very limited chances to go ashore in the gulf or the SW coast of Scarba if any significant swell is present. We passed through in relatively calm conditions at neaps.

The Corryvreckan passage.

ROUTE TAKEN: From the Haven we passed the southern tip of Shuna and Luing and headed for the Eastern shore of Scarba. We passed tentatively into the gulf 1 hour
before it started to flood West, passing close to the shore and exiting before the tide had turned. We stopped for a break in the bay around Rubha nam Faoileann out of the SW swell before heading up to Guirasdeal where we caught the West going jet of water from the Grey Dogs. We made a quick circumcision of Eileach an Naoimh before going ashore at the ruined monastry to set up camp and feed the local midge population (~30km).

The Grey Dogs.

The ruins of the Monastery.

Next day an 8am start allowed up to catch the North-going flood and pass along the Western sea cliffs of Garbh Eileach before crossing to Belnahua in the Sound of Luing, catching a big push from the tide to pass Easdale, landing on the NW corner of Insh. The North-end of Seil was rounded just as the tide turned to ebb south carrying us to the Cuan Sound. The tide in sound was running east-wards and we had to fight our way up the South coast of Seil past the ferry slip-way. We ferried across the main stream aided by a big eddy to continue the fight up the North end of Luing and into the Sound of Luing. We then used the South going ebb to push us to the south-end of
Luing where we headed back across Shuna sound and back to the Haven (50km).

EVENTS/ OBSERVATIONS: Seals, porpoises and numerous sea birds spotted at the Garvellachs.

The Garvellachs.


CONTRIBUTED BY: Tony Page, Kyle Kayak Club, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.