Summer seemed to have arrived, although there was still a
last shower as we drove to Smirisary. It turned out to be
an unusual trip, with only four explorers: Amy, Benjamin,
Katie and Thomas, but a lot of adults: Ann, Catherine, Chris,
Craig, Pamela and Philippa with two expedition dogs, Bruce
It was very clear and the sea was calm, good conditions for
whale spotting, so I set up the telescope on a hill near the
car park and everyone had a shot at trying to see a whale.
We didn't see one, but we got a good view of the construction
of the Eigg Pier and saw some groups of sea birds, including
Then we set off on the long walk through Smirisary village
and along the coast towards the Moidart North Channel. We
stopped at a seat at the top of the cliff to have another
look at the sea, but still no whales. The path down to the
old crofts was very steep and stony but nobody had any trouble.
Going along the shore proved to be rather tricky as we kept
finding our way blocked by small ravines but eventually we
found a good path and made fine progress. We stopped for a
breather and a drink at a crossing point we visited the first
time we did this trip in 1999. There were a lot of dragonflies
swooping around above our heads and we saw some of them catching
It was then getting warm and everyone was very pleased to
get to the beach, all of the young explorers made themselves
at home paddling and digging in the sand, while the adults
explored the area. We found a part of the beach where there
were cowrie shells but only Thomas was able to tear himself
away to look for them - and of course he found one very quickly.
Finally it was time to start back as the day was getting hotter.
Everyone got slower and slower and we were all relieved to
see the cars in the distance and get back to cool off.John Dye