Arisaig to Mallaig – Section 5 | Day 5

Arisaig (the campsite is round the peninsula to the right): photo James Fenton
Luckily the wind has dropped and moved round to the South East, so we are able to resume our route north. From Sunnyside campsite, it is only about 6km to Mallaig, so we have a relatively easy and straightforward day. The views, across to the Small Isles and Skye beyond, are absolutely stunning.

The whole area is a magnet for wildlife, and we were lucky enough to encounter an inquisitive seal. The reflections of Soy Loon and Roxanne make the water look green, but in reality, it is as clear as it gets!

Camusdarach Beach is an arc of white, glistening sand and clear water just south of the estuary of River Morar

With a spectacular view to the jagged crest of Cuillin on the Isle of Skye, the rugged blue peaks of Rum and the steep sea cliff of Eigg, Camusdarach is breathtaking. And as an aside, Camusdarach is the beach featured in the film Local Hero. We decide to stop here for lunch and were joined by the rest of our trusty land crew, including Port and Starboard.

The dogs are loving being the land support crew!!

Between here and Mallaig, the coast becomes ‘easier’ for the cox, with fewer rocks and islets that become visible at low tide. We are passing the Silver Sands of Morar, a string of white, sandy beaches and Loch Morar, the scene of our detour yesterday. So, after lunch, we decide once again to mix the crews around a bit – it’s always nice to try out someone else’s boat! Also having Tim’s wide experience of all types of fixed seat rowing, it was time to tap into his knowledge and perfect a few drills to improve our skills. Tim was the coach and voice-over for the SCRA’s rowing technique video series: the catch, finish and drive were all put under the spotlight, with Tim both at stroke and giving feedback from the cox’s seat. A worthwhile experience for all!

Soon we come into Mallaig. We safely tie up the boats for the night and decide to explore this bustling and thriving port.

We are lucky enough to see the Jacobite Steam train as it reaches the end of it’s ‘Road to the Isles’. Then we meet up for a well earned beer before we return to Sunnyside campsite for a barbeque on the beach. What a perfect day!

Some photos below of the rest of the Portsoy crew in some calm waters!!

And land support Colin – finally off duty

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