DATE(S) OF TRIP:19th Dec 2004

WHERE?: Islay

PUT-INS/ LAUNCH SPOTS: Bowmore harbour. Plenty of parking and good/safe launching in harbour. Return here although there are get out places along the route. Not easy for access to vehicles but there are some farm tracks down to beaches.

DISTANCE/ TIME: min: 2 Hours

LOCAL TIDES: As before for Loch Indaal. Can get low on a spring around skerries off Gartbreck.

HAZARDS/ PROBLEMS?: Not really save for fishing boats entering Harbour and picking creels.

ROUTE TAKEN: Bowmore harbour head south west keeping skerries landward. then at last ones - Gartbreck, return landward, heading towards distillery (Yeah!) and Paps. Bowmore harbour is easily see throughout whole trip.

EVENTS/ OBSERVATIONS: Today was absolutely BRILLIANT. There was verglas in shallower water. Absolutely still and the inquisitive seals popped up regularly. Great Northern Divers, Slavonian Grebes (winter only), Oystercatchers, Redshank and Eider Duck. A flock of Whopper Swans accompanied us as we headed out. Wonderful.

OTHER NOTES: This is a really nice, enjoyable morning paddle to get close to nature and experience the masses of Geese on the farm fields close by.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Jeremy Hastings, Islay Canoe Club. Jeremy runs Islay Birding and offers birdwatching and bushcraft courses on Islay.