Sanna Bay to Ardtoe – Section 5 | Day 2

Yesterday was our first row on this trip, some 12 miles, and we are all feeling a bit sore and stiff from the rowing and then a night camping and sleeping on mats. However, the day starts off clear and dry, with a bit of high cloud to the west.

The wind is light from the SW so for our row along the rocky north coast of the Ardnamurchan peninsula we are in sheltered water. This is the view out of Sanna Bay looking north towards the islands of Muck and Rum, with the mainland at Arisaig on the right. Our goal today is the little harbour at Ardtoe, but first we must get past all the skerries at Sanna and the rocks before Fascadale.

As you can see Fascadale bay is pretty rugged but there is a patch of beach available on this calm day and we take a break for lunch.
Further east is the rocky finger of Ockle Point, not a place for small boats to linger but a fine sight on a quiet day like this. Once round it we can see in to Kentra Bay and the Singing Sands.

To the left is the small village of Ardtoe with its sheltered beach and Marine Research Station.
This is our journey’s end for today, a 13 mile row, and we haul up the boats and make them secure. The shore support vehicles take us back along the long single track road to the Kilchoan campsite for our last night there.

Tomorrow we shift camp to Arisaig as we make our way northwards.

Some thoughts from Stephanie, one of today’s crew, from Portsoy

How do you feel when out on the water?
I feel capable, apart from when doing 2k training when I feel my technique goes to pot too easily. I’m clearly more cut-out for distance and pleasure rowing! I like the different view you get on the water, and the chance to see wildlife occasionally. Others have mentioned what they hear, but nothing springs to mind for me on that one, so I must listen more attentively next time I’m out!

Who got you into rowing?
I suppose I did, because I went along to an open rowing session, knowing no one at all in the club. I found I can row and I enjoy it, and sometimes kick myself for not doing it sooner!

What do I love about these coasts and waters?
Nothing specific, I just like the sea and being able to be near it, whether walking or on it in a boat. There are nice fishing villages along the coast which are good to explore, and some secluded sandy beaches, but I like pretty much any coast, rural or industrial – it’s just nice to gaze upon a long horizon of nothing.

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