Saturday, 6 December 2014

Scottish sojurn

I've just returned from a magical weekend with our friends the Scottish Swimming Lassies and Lads, in which we sailed the seas and swam with starfish.  Anna, Yaara and I flew to Glasgow and then drove up past Loch Lomond,  Loch Fyne, and finally Loch Sween, before finally arriving at Carsaig Bay, on the Sound of Jura.  It was dark when we got there but we couldn't resist a night-time dip off the jetty in front of Charlotte and Duggie's house, before settling down to a hearty dinner and chats in front of the wood-burning stove.  The following morning it was so exciting to wake up and see the mountains of Jura across the sea.  Iona arrived and we went down to the jetty where we got into Sea Pie, a little dinghy, to row out to Wild Rose, Duggie's absolutely beautiful yacht.  He built her himself over five summers and we felt so privileged to be allowed on board.  We couldn't wait to explore, and were particularly delighted to find a cosy fire burning in the cabin below.   Frequent cries of "this is the life" were heard (and in fact were heard throughout the entire weekend) as we sailed out of the Bay, and headed south past an island and down towards a very craggy part of the coast that Charlotte and Duggie call "Raven's Nest".  We leapt off the boat (or rather, inelegantly lowered ourselves down the ladder) and into the beautiful dark green water for a delicious swim amongst the kelp gardens, with lots of wrasse darting about below us.  Duggie was an absolute gentleman and after his swim came back with Sea Pie to collect us, so we didn't have to haul ourselves up the ladder back on board.  The next adventure was the hot tub on the shore - another of Duggie's brilliant creations.
 As dusk fell we decadently wallowed in the tub while drinking wine and nibbling cashews, occasionally punctuating the indulgence with a shock-inducing sea-dip.  Sunday dawned sunny, and so followed another unforgettable day.  We met Iona again, and also Martin and Fraser, at Danna, at the mouth of Loch Sween, where the water was unbelievably clear and we saw starfish.  In the afternoon we again went out in Wild Rose, sailing north this time into the Sound, where we spotted George Orwell's house on Jura, and all had a go at the helm.  On the way back we had a swim in a channel near Carsaig Island, where we spotted two seals.  They came into the water but did not approach us, which for me was an enormous relief as I find the Devon seals way too friendly.   As we started back towards home a most vivid sunset started to take place over the Paps of Jura.   We put down the anchor and watched the sun set and the moon rise, and Duggie and Yaara had a swim in the twilight.


Anna said...

Dear Sophie - a wonderful account. We loved having you Devon Dippers up for the weekend. You were so game and adventurous. Come back soon!
Charlotte and Duggiexx

Sophie said...

We'd love to! And we'd love to lay on similar adventures for you in Devon! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Yaara said...

Sophie it's difficult to express how wonderful this weekend was. But you did a good job of capturing the awesome scenery frequent hilarity and sheer joy that was Carsaig and the Sound of Jura.

Lynne said...

Having also experienced the wondrous swimming hospitality of the Argyll contingent, Queenie and I were sea-green with envy at your trip Sophie.
We'd love to help host our Scottish friends here too. xx

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