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

Sea kayaking, survival skills and sunshine

The Blue Moons team with the birthday boy at the wild camp under Arkle this evening

Heath Mount

Sea kayaking, survival skills and sunshine

and teams depart for their wild basecamp at the foot of Arkle

Sunday June 9th 2019

Our days here start at 7am with a run along the vehicle track, or a swim in the sea loch. Swimming before breakfast is the bolder of the two options but the thought of the cold water and putting on a wetsuit at that time of day is sometimes more challenging than the swim itself. Its great to make the first ripples on the loch and look across to the mountains as you swim out to the raft.

Breakfast is a three course affair with cereals and porridge followed by eggs and bacon this morning, followed by toast and jam. We make packed lunches at breakfast enabling us to be out all day.

The Reds went sea kayaking this morning, working in three small pods with the instructors, learning new skills, journeying around the bays and coves that pit the shore of Loch A Chadh Fi, and checking out the nesting birds. The herring gull chicks will hatch any day now, little grey balls of fluff tottering along the shoreline.

The Blues were foraging against a fast rising tide before heading inland to look at the fire and food elements of the survival skills that they will need for the island later in the week.

The teams swapped over in the afternoon, with the Blues managing to sea kayak out through Smugglers Sound and sit beneath the impressive cliffs on the west side of Paddies Isle.

After a mug of homemade soup at half past four this afternoon, the Reds set off for their wild mountain basecamp at the foot of Arkle, with the Blues leaving an hour later. There was a good breeze at the camp and some sunshine too as the teams pitched tents and cooked up their supper on trangia stoves. Supper was finished off with homemade sticky toffee cake and custard, dotted with candles for the Blue Moons team who have a birthday boy amongst their ranks.

A big day tomorrow as the teams tackle Arkle. It is 787m tall but when linking both of its two summits together there is close to 940m of total height gain. Its designed to be a challenging day rewarded with incredible views from a clear summit. The forecast is good for the ascent and the teams are on good form.

More news late tomorrow evening when we return.