The Sandaig Islands have been on my kayaking bucket list for quite some time now. Situated at the southern end of the Kylerhea narrows and overlooking Skye and Glenelg, Sandaig is the setting for Gavin Maxwell's classic tale, "Ring of Bright Water", his story of living with otters on a secluded and remote corner of Wester Ross.
Tania and I had a few days on Skye and and the conditions were looking perfect for a paddle from Kylerhea to Sandaig and back again.... The forecast was settled, the tides were in our favour and we had the company of a couple of other paddlers - George from Greece and Roar from Norway.
As we were on Spring tides, the flow in Kylerhea was up to its maximum and we were fortunate to have the advantage of the south-going stream on our way down to Sandaig. Running at up to 8 knots on spring tides, this is quite a useful conveyor belt. With a leisurely stop for lunch and time to explore the islands for a while, our plan was then to pick up the north-going stream which would assist us back up to Kylerhea once more.
Launching from the ferry slipway at Kylerhea, we had clear blue skies, wall to wall sunshine, the tides in our favour and no wind. The conditions were definitely looking good.