Trip to Jura and Colonsay By R Campbell Dec,1967 The Paddler

This is a brief account of a trip undertaken by 12 of our members during the Glasgow Fair fortnight to Jura and Colonsey, culminating in a successful passage through the straits of Corryvreckan to Crinan, the end of our journey. The party led by Hamish and Anne Gow in their plywood hulled Clyde double, consisted of John and Rosalyn McConville, Alex and Betty Paton, Archie Pitt and Willie, all in canvas Cloch doubles, Joe Lane and Jim Brown in canvas Clyde singles and myself and Ian Campbell in a canvas Clyde double, last mentioned and always last ashore at the end of each stage. For Roslyn, Willie, Ian and myself, this was our first sea trip by canoe and speaking for myself, I was glad to lean on the experience of the older hands at this game. The starting point was West Loch Tarbert, and for providing transport for most of the canoes, gear and bodies from Duck Bay to Tarbert, we are most grateful to Sandy who provided his large covered van for the purpose. Hamish and Anne , having been on holiday during the previous week had travelled to Tarbert by canoe, via the Firth of Clyde and Loch Fyne. Sunday, West Loch Tarbert: Camp site at river mouth opposite the rough stone ramp for the Gigha ferry boat. Weather stormy with a strong South Westerly into which we plodded for nine gruelling miles until we reached our second camp site on a rise just beyond the jetty of Portachoillan. Monday, Wind still too strong to move from here into the open Sound of Jura. Weather sunny and visibility perfect, but white horses clearly visible outside the shelter of the loch. Tuesday, Wind had slackened off considerably so we moved. On reaching Kilberry, eight miles, it was considered that the wind was right for an attempt to make well the lost

day at Portachoillan, so we headedout into the sound calling at the island of Eileen Mor before the final hop across the Sound to Tarbert Bay on Jura. Waves on our port quarter all the way provided exhilarating canoeing, and since the tide had a few hours left to ebb, we had to waltz through a tide rip a mile or so out from Eileen Mor. We portaged immediately to the head of Loch Tarbert on the west coast of Jura. This is only ¾ of a mile, but one of the roughest tracks imaginable and after 19 miles of open sea is no joke, especially as we were then caught in a violent rainstorm just as we were halfway across. We caught the last of the tide pouring out of Loch Tarbert and completed the days trip some three miles farther down the loch at one of Lord Asters hunting lodges. Total distance that day 23 miles. Wednesday, Weather overcast, some showers. Hill walking, fishing and resting today. Thursday, Weather dull at first. As we paddled down the loch to the open sea the weather improved and we rounded the point to head north to Shian bay in brilliant sunshine. Atlantic swell here, pounding on the rocks created a nasty jobble and here and there ugly rocks were exposed in the troughs of the waves. Perfect landfall on sandy beach of Shian Bay, living up to all expectations generated by watching the club slide shows.Camp site at Shian river at south end of the bay. River runs parallel to the beach at this point and an old raised bank provides shelter from onshore winds. Activities, bathing and beach combing. Distance ten Miles. Friday, Weather perfect. We decided to move at 6.30 p.m. to Scalasaig on Colonsay ten miles away. This we accomplished in two and a half hours, a slight North westerly in the last two miles or so caused a little delay. It so happened that we landed near the only pub on the island and closing time was a whole hour away, Jim and Joe remained on Jura. visit to Oronsay and ruined priory, dinner in the Hotel Saturday night. Alec and Betty did a solo from Jura on Sunday to collect the shopping! Saturday, Sunday, Monday.

Weather perfect, sunbathing, exploring, We all look forward to the Celeidh on Tuesday night. Tuesday, Weather good, Hamish roused us at 6.30 am. And had us sitting in our canoes pointed in the direction of Jura at 9.00 am. Target was Corpach Bay to rendezvous with Joe and Jim, then angle north along the coast to Northernmost bay on Jura, named on the map,B.GI nam Muo. Vicious South easterly wind caught us half of a mile off shore at Corpach Bay and sent us scurrying for shelter close inshore. The rest of the journey was physically shattering due to the wind, the jobble from the rocks and the increasing proximity of the Corryvreckan tide race, although almost spent in the ebb, had left its affect in the uneasy motion of the water. It was fortunate indeed that we landed at slack water otherwise John and Rosalyn may have had no option but to crash through, since their rudder had jammed and they had a difficulty turning into the wind to make landfall. Later that evening while marooned in our tents, we thought of the Celeidh we had missed. Distance today 22 miles. Wednesday. Weather cold and dull in the morning, continuous driving rain throughout afternoon and evening. Activities, observing the tide race from the entrance to the bay. Thursday, Weather clearing. We made ready for the passage through the Corryvreckan at three hours before slack water. Hamish and Anne went out to have a look at it while we sat at the ready in the shelter of the bay. They came back shortly, paddling furiously against the tide and announced that a standing wave out there would finish anyone who tried to get through, so we postponed our attempt for another two hours. At the second attempt we got through on the top of a flattish heaving mass of water, broken occasionally by all kinds of odd wave formations which kept popping up unexpectedly all around us. We sailed through at a fair rate of knots and thereafter, followed the wide sweep of the current towards the Dorus Mor and made our final landfall at Crinan. There are a few individual tales to tell of hair raising experiences during our early attempt at passage

through the Corryvreckan but these can only be told by the persons concerned. Perhaps they will be told in a future issue. Distance travelled nine miles. Friday. Weather fair. Observed big boats coming and going, chatted with their crews, none of whom had dared to face the Corryvreckam