Tayvallich Sept 2019

The sun god was definitely on our side this weekend.

Apart from a couple of very brief showers and some overnight rain, we enjoyed great weather for our three paddle days – Fri – Sat – Sun. His pal the wind god was very kind too, as the forecast 39 mph gusts due Sunday did not appear and for the whole day there was not even a puff of wind.

We were five in total, Steve Bell, Celia Grey, Jim Nelson and me (Neil Bennett) plus non-paddling Meg (Steve’s wife) plus Mishnish and Ben their dogs.

Steve and I had a ‘loosen off’ paddle up to the Fairy Isles and around the inland end of Loch Sween as the rest of the gang arrived and set up their mobile homes. Steve and Meg had a Hobbit House while Billy-no-Mates was 100 yards away in a tent.

We all agreed that Tayvallich seemed a bit strange without Stuart’s size 13 around the place. But hopefully he will be back for 2020.

Steve, Celia and Jim spent the evening planning the Saturday paddle while I enjoyed a glass of Celia’s wine and watched them.

Saturday was looking good after breakfast and we got on the water in front of the campsite at 11.00 and paddled south to Castle Sween. Strange moment on the way down as we paddled past a young girl, dressed for Sunday School, heading north . . . . on a Stand-up-Paddleboard.

We had a short shower before landing beneath the castle (12th C – seemingly Scotland’s oldest castle) where we lunched on the beach.

After a wee bit of exploring, we were back on the water and heading north up the Sound of Jura to Carsaig where my car was waiting to ferry us back to the campsite.

About 70 minutes short of Carsaig we had a priceless experience when three marauding common porpoises decided to interact with us for around 15 – 20 minutes. We were all thrilled as they repeatedly popped up within a paddle length of one boat after another.

Highlight of the weekend.

We reached Carsaig Bay around 5.30 where Meg met us (sans dogs) to help with the ferrying. After very welcome (and rather necessary hot showers – well it was a hot day inside those dry suits) we adjourned to The Tayvallich Inn for a lovely dinner and a few wee drinks.

Sunday saw us stay local as neither Celia or Jim has been up to the Fairy Isles. We pottered around and practised lots of different skills before finally coming off the water around 5.00.

The sun was still shining on Monday morning when we got all packed up then sat down together for a last cuppa before hitting the road.

A GREAT weekend and excellent company.

Just a shame there weren’t more of us.

Neil Bennett