50 years of adventure and life-changing experiences in beautiful isolation, 1969 – 2019

Stormy sea kayaking

Blue Two taking shelter near Ardbeg Bay

14 day Expedition Summer Camp

Stormy sea kayaking

Highland Games, rock climbing and survival island

Sunday July 29th 2018

Friday was a gloriously sunny day for the Durness Highland Gathering, our local summer Highland Games organised and run by the local community for the benefit of locals and visitors alike. It has a really great friendly feel with a Pipe Band procession, more piping and Scottish dancing, traditional ‘heavy’ events like tossing the caber, and loads of events that the summer camp team could get involved with.

The Blues had come off survival island early that morning but summoned the energy to get fully stuck in alongside the Reds.

Over the weekend we have battled some stormy but largely dry weather. Too wild overnight for the Blues to camp during their sea kayaking expedition. Instead they had a full day out in the kayaks yesterday, battling through stiff head winds in Loch Laxford to link islands of shelter where we could rest and catch our breath. Both Blue teams took stoves with them to cook up a brew at lunchtime in the coves that line the north side of the sea loch. We saw seals at the inner end of the loch before surfing back with the wind and waves into the shelter of Loch A Chadh-Fi and Ardmore. With stronger winds again today the Blues chose from more kayaking with a biase on skills in the few sheltered areas available, or land based navigation skills out on the remote and beautiful Ardbeg peninsula.

Meanwhile, the Reds have rock climbed, abseiled, learned survival skills, orienteered, sea fished (with limited luck) and are, tonight, on survival island.

Tomorrow is beach day, a chance to relax and reflect before the last and longest expedition, overland and on foot to Cape Wrath and Sandwood Bay. It is some of the most remote terrain in the UK, beautiful and challenging in equal measure.

Everyone is well and on good form. It’s a really nice bunch of enthusiastic young people, making the very most of the adventures. More news to follow in the next few days.