Sea kayak trip, Arisaig bay

Emily and I, along with our friend Catriona, took a long drive up north yesterday- a 3 and a quarter hour trip to Arisaig.

For those who do not know this place, it is no exaggeration to describe this piece of coastline as one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. And no, I have not seen much of the wide world, but- well you will just have to go there yourself.

And if you do, then perhaps you might take a trip with the guys from Rockhopper out into the bay, where you will enter a world of blue green seas, silver white sands, islands and skerries emerging out of the tide and kelp beds full of seals and otters.

I have been wanting to try out a proper sea kayak for years. This year, Michaela bought me a voucher to use with Rockhopper for my birthday- ironically the same day as I had my serious canoe accident! We spent all day Saturday working hard in the garden, and I was tired, and to be honest, we have been so busy recently that I wondered whether I could cope with a 5AM start, and a long day in a kayak- but I am so glad we still went.

The weather was kind, the wildlife and scenery stunning, the company very agreeable and the experience was one that I would very much like to repeat.

As ever- here are a few photographs- including one of my second set of otters (within a few weeks!) Did not have my zoom lens on again though.

Otters- under Dunoon pier?!

I was admiring the dramatic sky over the Clyde this evening (about 9PM) so I took my camera down to Dunoon pier to take some photos-

There is a bit of a rig doing something to the water works- but it looks a bit like an oilfield has been found just off Dunoon!

I decided to change to the longer lens, and while I was fiddling (of course it would be whilst the camera had NO LENS!) swimming in front of me, less than 10 metres away, were two otters.

Yes- OTTERS!

I could not believe my eyes.

I attached the lens as fast as I  could, but this was my first effort, as they rolled over one another playfully-

Oops. Well it was very dark, and I was very excited.

I have never seen an otter in the wild before- and here they were, in Dunoon? Right in the centre, under the pier? On holiday perhaps?

I wondered whether I could be seeing something else- a couple of cats learning to swim? Mink? But actually, two otters at play that close are not easily mistaken for anything else.

They saw me watching them, and swam to the old pier, where they paused and watched me. So here are the photo’s-

I believe that otter have been spotted in all sorts of urban areas along the Clyde, even in Glasgow. But I have not heard of them being seen in Dunoon.

A couple of young otters on their way out along the Clyde perhaps? Doon the watter for a holiday?