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Sea kayaking Anglesey, North Wales with Coastal Spirit.  A Blog of sea kayaking courses and personal  expeditions and adventures. Keep in touch throughout the year ... 

 

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Roof of Britain (RoB) 2017 - Fort William to Inverness, the 'Salty' Version!
17
May
2017
The plan had always been to do the complete loop, linking up the West and East coast with the Great Glen.  A journey of 800km.  Yet time was running out for us and at Thurso on the North coast and informal decision, or was it a thought, that was made to get to Inverness. This way we had a clear start and finish and a salty version of the RoB.  This felt right and
as long as bodies held out and the weather played ball it was possible.  


The start at Corpack with Ben Nevis in snow!!

My Facebook feed from the 16th April 2017, has the daily action here.   I'm going to keep this Blog to the bare bones, with a summary, facts and my favourite ten photos.


looking up the Sound of Mull
  • From GPS our total distance was 727km
  • 27 days in total with 8 days off, with 6 storm days and 2 days were we arrived earlier and decided to use the benefit of a public camp or caravan sight, to wait out the storm.  In both cases this really paid off, so good sleep was had and we could each refuel.
Tobermory, Isle of Mull, with Don, Craig, Alan, Gerry and Roger

Sunrise, just North of Tobermorry (Mull) and our first early start

  • Longest day was day 25, with 67km and this was Wick on the East coast to 8km South of Helmsdale.  6 hours on a flood Spring tide and then paddling close in along a spectacular coastline with thousands of sea birds. A 13 hour day.
Gairloch, after a snow storm
  • Shortest distance was day 1, after leaving a car to Inverness and packing the boats at Corpack (N of Fort William) to the Corran Narrows - 16km

  • Our most efficient distance was our last day.  Day 27 Cromarty to Inverness, 45km in under 5 hours!
  • 11 wild camps,   7 public camps, 1 at a hostel, 4 in a caravan, 2 accommodation connected to a pub and 1 night on a floor (brother in law of Alan's).
Arrival at the stunning Sandwood Bay NW Scotland

Sandwood Bay was totally magic!


  • On 17 beaches we did a 2 minute Nurdle hunt and we found none.  This came as a surprise, but is great!  We also only found 2 cotton ear buds and details have been sent to FEDRA and the Great Nurdle Hunt
Duncansby Head and we're on the East coast!
  • We saw many sea ducks, red and black throated divers as well as great northern, 2 white tailed sea eagles, 7-9 otters, 4 pods of dolphins (common, risso and 2 bottlenosed), submarine motoring along 1-2km North Rona, 2 artic skua's, puffins from around the Gairlock area and my first time hearing puffins calling was at Thurso.  Many other sea birds with the most prolific on the east coast south of Wick.
  • We camped/bivied at Sandwood bay (last sandy beach before Cape Wrath and landed for a break at Kervaig (first sandy beach on the North coast).  Both are in amazing locations and two places I thought it would take along time to get the right weather, to be able to visit!!
Bringing the journey to an end at Inverness ...
As with most big trips, theres is always those that help to keep things moving forwards and after so many snapped tent poles with Gerrys F10 tent, Kate Duffus and a chance meeting helped with similar diameter poles.  The hostel at Lochinver were ace in receiving a new set of poles.  Sue (Alan's friend), was a great help and took both Gerry and Alan across to collect while we were off the water in the Summer Isles.  Alan's brother in law did us proud when we arrived in Cromarty at 20:00 at his front door, having never received a text and the pub had stopped serving food!  Thanks for the many super messages on social media of information, support and encouragement.

Big thanks to Sonja for managing the bookings while I was away and doing a super job.

Dates for the Roof of Britain and One Big Adventure 2018 (1BG) will be out soon, so if your interested and want more information, have a look here or email me at roger@coastalspirit.com 

Thanks, 
Roger
Our adventures on Facebook
Our Facebook reviews
Tavi Murray

"And I'm probably learning more from his mentoring now, as my paddling horizons expand, than ever before. I can't count how many questions I've asked... and he's answered. Roger has the knack of making that suggestion that radically changes your thinking and moves your paddling on in leaps and bounds."

Stella King

"There are a number of wonderful things about Roger. He has a very light touch in his coaching, and he's always smiling and encouraging you to relax into the enjoyment of the day"

Simon Turnbull

"I've just completed a two day 4* Sea kayak training course with Roger. Having been coached by Roger in the past, I choose to do this course with Roger because I knew I would get a great deal from the course. My expectations were certainly well and truly met"

We come recommended
I just want to say thanks. Although we only took part for 2 days we really enjoyed the course with a mix of very professional tuition and great surroundings around the Anglesey coast. I've learned a lot in these two days and feel much more secure on the water - hope to be back next year.
Birgit & Henning - Germany