Day 1 – Paddle across Scotland Winter 2020


Day 1 – We arrived in fort William with a day to spare for a reason, prep time. We were well aware that we needed a chance to go over our gear one last time and also prepare the boards as well as our heads for the journey that lay in front of us, rushing this just wasn’t an option. Having some spare time to check out our first landings was also a huge advantage as we knew these would be in the pitch black bays of Loch Linnhe and navigating the shoreline at Caol would be more then difficult with zero visibility.

As the day drew onward the nerves began to creep in and we were all feeling apprehensive about what lay ahead. Every spare moment was spent looking out to the lochs and checking the weather forecasts and tide times. During the afternoon it became apparent that the conditions were worsening and we could see the evidence of this from the hotel window, the clouds began to form out at sea and roll toward land and the wind slowly crept upward until the water was filled with white caps and the hail started lashing down. We always knew that this was a real possibility. During the winter, conditions were never going to be on our side but I think in our heads we were all praying for calm waters on launch morning, however no such luck.

We spent the evening preparing the boards and then headed out to Corran ferry for one last check of the launch point. When we arrived the rain was relentless and looking out into the darkness of loch Linnhe was slightly intimidating. We were all well aware that in a few hours we would be launching from that spot into the abyss like blackness of the night to catch the incoming tide and the weather was showing no signs of letting up. Accepting the inevitable, we headed back to the hotel and tried to grab a few hours sleep before the chaos began and the journey finally got underway.