SwimCamping isn't all about swimming off to an island for a stay, it can be whatever adventure you make it, as long as you're safe and well, that's the main thing. With the weather looking a bit windy on Sunday, we opted for a land based SwimCamp this time and to be honest it was my first one and I thoroughly enjoyed. Traigh Sheilinhig is a bay between the villages of Gress and Tolsta on the Isle of Lewis, about a 30 minute walk from the road. With stunning views across Tiumpan Head Lighthouse over to Lochinver (spotting Suilven as well). Stuart, Dave, Helen and myself had a great time at the little oasis in the middle of the moor, feeling that you were miles from anywhere. Thanks to Fergie for showing us around the airidh that he built about 20 years ago and for leaving the toilet unlocked for us to use. First SwimCamp with a flushing loo, haha. Stuart and myself managed a bit of body surfing through the decent sized waves, followed by dinner, campfire, drinks and yarns before calling it a night. Sunday morning, we managed to have everything packed away before the rain started as we headed back up the hill to our cars. We'll definitely be back there next year in the summertime, maybe with bodyboards.
Click here for the link to the YouTube Video
Great swim from Lemreway over to Eilean Ewart, this time camping towards the Loch Shell end. The sea is teaming with wildlife and so is the air, even saw a sea eagle leave it's perch as I swam along the coast of the island. I would have camped on the small peninsula looking up towards loch shell but with the fish farm activity, it kind of spoiled things, so I plumped for a small bay instead looking out to the minch with stunning views out to the shiant isles. Had a wander about before getting a fire going, dinner and drinks. The rain started early on, so retreated to the tent but got up a few times during the night to view the night sky. Had a cracking swim back to the jetty on Sunday morning again following the coast of the island, then across between the 2 small islands and following the Lemreway coastline back to the jetty.
The island has fantastic history surrounding it, some of it involving Bonnie Prince Charlie, which can be read here:
Click here for the link to the YouTube Video from the outing
Great SwimCamp outing from Bosta beach on Saturday round the coast of Little Bernera with Stuart, then we dropped the bags on Cealasaigh before heading over to Eilean Fir Chrothair to look at the beehives there. Such an amazing island with stunning views all round, but it can be difficult to exit/enter the sea. After taking in the scenery and what felt like stepping back in historical times we headed back to our rucksacks on Cealasaigh to set up camp. The lagoon was alive with sups, kayaks and boats. During dinner time, Dave & Helen paddled over via a few islands to meet up with us as planned. It was then they thought they saw the fins of basking sharks, so of in their kayaks they went to see if they could find them but with no success. Had a grand evening by the fire on the shore sharing yarns, snacks and a couple of cans. Sunday morning came slightly overcast but a nice breeze to keep the midges away. Watching the gannets dive and memories of the seals wailing through the night. Stuart and myself said our goodbyes to Dave and Helen before heading round the opposite end of Little Bernera as to what we did yesterday, going by Chapel beach into the Kyles. There was quite a bit of boat traffic but at least the tide was with us. Enjoyed seeing the yacht going through the narrow channel before we landed back at Bosta beach. Some media by Stuart.
Click here for some info about Eilean Fir Chrothair
Click here for link to the YouTube Video from the outing.
Fantastic SwimCamping outing in Harris on Monday, firstly walking over the hill path from the Huisinis jetty to Traigh Mheilein with Stuart, Lynne, Colin and Max. The views along the way are just stunning. Stuart and myself then swam across to Scarp and we met a couple working on one of the houses there. They turned out to be the owners of the island. After a nice chat we found somewhere to set camp before going for a walk round the side of the island. It's a majestic coastline (apart from all the waste washed ashore as well as the polystyrene cave) and was slightly eerie with the slow incoming fog which made us return to base ahead of schedule, but better to be safe than sorry. The midgies were also rife and my new midge head net was rubbish, think I'll buy local next time. Tuesday morning showed no wind at all so as the midges were out again, we packed our kit and headed into the sea, towing our rucksacks behind us on the way to the jetty at Huisinis and to the car. Thankfully a wee breeze there while we got changed before heading back to Lewis. A superb time watching kayakers paddle pass by as we were setting up camp and a couple of dolphins on Monday evening as well as the usual gannets diving for fish, which reminds me that we saw a fish jumping well out of the water a few times. Am sure we'll be back to Scarp many more times yet. Some photos by Stuart & Colin.
Click here for link to the YouTube Video from the outing.
Swimming from Bhalasaigh, Stuart and myself went past Liongam following the coast along before crossing to Eunaigh Mor for a quick look around then it was onwards to Fuaigh Mor and it's outstanding village, which must have been very busy back in the day (we even saw a buzzard as we swam in). We walked across Fuaigh Mor, taking in the views on the way, to jump in the sea to swim to a secluded beach at Teinis (where we met a couple of friends) before walking over to Traigh na Beirigh for a final swim of the day to Bhacasaigh. Stuart and myself walked to Tearbaso on the island, which has amazing 360 views. Heading across Bhacasaigh, we met up with kayaking friends David and Helen who had been in touch about camping with us. Tents pitched, kit sorted out, dinner had, a nice fire on the shore, a couple of tinnies and good yarns. It made for a grand day out. On Sunday morning we met visiting swimmer Katie who swam over to swim back with us. Thanks to David and Helen for seeing us across before heading off. A few more islands bagged on an awesome SwimCamping outing. One that I'd definitely do again as the place is teaming with wildlife and views galore. Some photo's/video clips are from Stuart and David. Route taken is shown at the end of the video.
Click here for history of Fuaigh Mor
Click here for history of Bhacasaigh
Click here for link to YouTube Video from the SwimCamp
This is one that I've been wanting to do for years ever since swimming from Huisinis to Mealasta for charity. Stuart and myself walked & swam from the slipway at Mealista to the bay at Tamna Siar which unfortunately was covered in litter, we got out and walked over to the bay on the other side, Tamana Sear, swimming over Loch Tamnabhaigh for a look round the old settlement there. We heard some noise from a house which was being renovated so we popped over to say hello and we were invited in for a cup of tea by the very kind family. Had a fantastic chat with them before we headed over Aird Bheag to swim across Loch Tealasbhaigh to land on Aird Mhor for a stomp up the glen then down the side of the loch to set up camp there and also a cool off in the water of Loch nan Uidhean. In the morning we walked down to the shore and crossed Loch Reasort, walked round the coast a bit and got in the sea again to cross Loch Crabhadail with a quick walk over to Loch na Cleabhaig to swim across it. We then walked the hill path from Traigh Mheilein to Huisinis which has 360 dramatic views where you just have to stop and take in. This was my best outing yet, with views to die for and wildlife galore, eagles, deer, starfish, jellyfish, urchins, caterpillars and so much more.
Click here for YouTube Video link1
Click here for YouTube Video link2
Great SwimCamp outing to Kenmore on the Eishken estate with Joseph (kayaking) and Stuart (walking). I had a few issues with misty goggles on the way there but it didn't stop us taking in the stunning scenery around loch seaforth. Plenty of wildlife on the go above and below sea level. Good craic with good company. Had a gander round the old house which has fantastic views. A beautiful place indeed. Some photo's are Joseph's & Stuart's.
Click on this link to read about the sad history of the Pairc clearances
Click here for link to Youtube Video
Fantastic SwimCamp going from the jetty at Bhaltos via a wee play about at the sand bar on Siaram Mor then to it was across to land on the beach on Pabaigh Mor followed by a plod over to the lagoon stopping by the remains of blackhouses, bothies, walls, stockpens, St Peters Church and the old lobster lagoon plus a look in the spooky cave. It's a small world when you bump into your second cousin, at the lagoon, who you've not seen in about 30 years. Then later 2 friends came ashore and I had good yarns with them too. On Sunday I noticed someone watching me from the pier at Bhaltos as I was swimming in, it was Angus from Fife who is a social media friend. Had a good yarn with him, his Dad and Uncle. Pabaigh sure is a beautiful place and one that I will definitely return to.
Click here for YouTube video link
Fantastic time in North Harris this weekend hiking from Huisinis over the hill path to Crabhadail and a tad further, then it was back to Traigh Mheilein for a swim over to Fladaigh for an overnight camp. In the morning I swam back to Traigh Mheilein (could feel that the currents were strong) and walked back over the hill to Huisinis. Good times..
Click here for info about the North Harris area
Click here for link to YouTube Video
Firstly Stuart and myself went for a coastal walk (and swim in parts) from the slipway at Mealasta down to Aird Dhrolaigeo which had stunning scenery all along the way (plus we spotted a deer) and finally with beautiful views over Liongam down to Crabhadail, Traigh Mheilein, Huisinis and Scarp. Then it was back to the shore for a swim over to the main beach on Eilean Mhealasta, dropping the rucksacks and going for a wee coastal swim to check out some inlets we had noticed earlier. Once back to the beach we had a wander around some of the island, deciding on pitching in a place to make the most of the sunset. Dave and Helen kayaked over from the slipway and we spent the evening watching the sun going down whilst having some drinks, good yarns and gazing at the light of the Flannan Isles. Eilean Mhealasta is abound with birdlife and we'll definitely be back to explore the island more. On Saturday morning Stuart and myself said our goodbyes to Dave and Helen and we swam back to Mealasta with birds flying over us and a small boat going past too. Great times indeed. Some photo's are Stuart's, Helen's and Ivor's.
Click here to read about Wild Murdoch of Mhealasta Island
Click here for link to YouTube Video
Thanks for visiting my blog!