Kilchoan to Sanna Bay – Section 5 | Day 1

Today the two skiffs from Bristol and Portsoy set off from Kilchoan for the first day of the mammoth row from Ardnamurchan to Kinlochbervie.

Kilchoan campsite: photo Topher Dawson
Kilchoan campsite is our home for three nights while we round the infamous Ardnamurchan Point, the westernmost part of the UK mainland and a tricky spot in adverse tide and wind. As it is neap tides, the skiffs are able to launch from Kilchoan pier at any time, but we planned to leave at 1000 as we wanted to get to the lighthouse at slack water a couple of hours later.

Rounding Ardnamurchan Point: photo James Fenton
The first leg is round Ardnamurchan Point to Sanna Bay. We had thought that Portruairk was the place to head for, but a friendly local pointed us in the direction of the north end of Sanna Bay where there is a sheltered beach and also a sheltered mooring for our support boat, kindly provided by a friend of Tim’s.

The day is pretty fair, and we get round Ardnamurchan with a favourable tide and not too much chop.

Sanna Bay: photo James Fenton
Sanna Bay has beautiful white, shell sand and turquoise sea. There are superb views of the Small Isles of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna and there are often dolphins and whales in the water. There is always the possibility of catching a glimpse of some elusive wildlife, including sea eagles, otters and pine martens.

One day down and we are on our way! We put the boats to bed and the shore support vehicles take us back the few miles to our campsite. Fortunately, we had the foresight to stock up from the Ardnamurchan distillery on the way past.

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