Strontian - Scrabster

Written by Skeathy

We landed in Scrabster after 11 days of some of the best canoeing I have ever experienced. The scenery has been spectacular, the weather gave us clear blue skies, sometimes with strong winds. At times we have felt very small and humble in huge racing swell with waves breaking. There were times I was just waiting for one of these to get us! And on a couple of occasions they did but with good buoyancy (we have 8 airbags and 3 barrels of various sizes in the boat) and Davis and I bailing, we quickly emptied and pressed on.  Turning Cape Wrath was a major milestone in our journey so far. 

We had been informed that the military training range was in use until 11.30 and we couldn’t go round until then.  The problem was the tide changed against us at this time.  This gave us one of our most difficult battles as we were being pushed westwards as we tried to make progress eastwards.  To make matters worse a tide race kicked up.  It took a massive effort to inch our way forward until we found the sanctuary of an old jetty where we waited for the tide to turn again.

So in Scrabster the wind has been against us and with some of the most notorious seas ahead we have had to wait for favourable conditions to get through the Pentland Firth.

Before we arrived at Scrabster, Katrina contacted Ken from the Pentland Canoe Club who was able to give great advice on where to land. This was at the slipway belonging to the Pentland Firth Yacht Club. Since arriving, we have been well looked after by Steve and Jane Foster from the yacht club. Many thanks!

Waiting for the second tide on Eigg.


Leaving Kyle Rhea, heading for Skye Bridge


A superb beach where we were forced to land through surf after the wind and swell stopped progress.


Waiting for the tide – Summer Isles


Comfort break before the crossing to Scourie… Old Man of Stoer in the background


Approaching Cape Wrath.


The sanctuary of the jetty


And onwards


Coming in to land at Scrabster after a 47 mile day.


  1. Sounds amazing, big skies and super photos. Seems like you needed everyone of those airbags but knowing you Col, you would want it no other way. South bound for next several weeks, keep paddling Col & Davis.

  2. Hello gang,
    Your progress is amazing and completely encapsulates your true grit and spirit of adventure. As an aside we all reckon those airbags and barrels convert into a v6 mercury outboard motor!
    Enjoy the journey and dream about what’s next! The Arctic to Antarctic polar express maybe….oops sorry didn’t mean to whet your appetite.