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

Fire, food and shelter building

The Blue team in Ardbeg Bay during the fire and food part of their survival skills training

Gresham’s Prep School

Fire, food and shelter building

in wild northwest weather

Sunday June 30th 2019

The teams woke at 7am to some good Scottish drizzle this morning and our swimming numbers diminished slightly on last nights count. That said 12 of the 24 donned wetsuits ready to take to the water while the other 12 prepared themselves for a jog along the vehicle track that follows the shoreline of Loch A Chadh Fi. The aim is just to get the blood flowing and sleep out of the eyes before sitting down for breakfast, and to start the day as we mean to go on.

With strong south westerlies forecast today we decided to head over the hilltop and into the isolated and remote Ardbeg (Aird Bheag) Bay to look at the fire, food and shelter elements of the survival skills that the pupils will need to use for themselves on the island. We foraged for winkles and limpets on the falling tide and gathered mat grass, old bracken and ‘frazzle’ from the hillside. Fires were lit with striking flint and steels on the seashore, our seafood cooked and tried, damper bread cooked and water boiled.

The teams spent some time collecting up marine plastics that get caught in the bay with the prevailing winds and bagged them up ready for a later collection.

Later in the afternoon the teams looked at building shelters with old yacht sails and small military bivvy tarps, hazel spars and some reclaimed ropes before heading back to the Adventure School for supper.

The winds are due to persist tomorrow so we have moved our sights away from a summit attempt, which would just be far too windy, to a trek along the remote cliff tops north towards the beautiful Sandwood Bay. No less a challenge for the team than the mountain day.