Expedition 92 - 26th July 2003
Smirisary to the North Channel


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 and Crunchie.
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 gannets.
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 flies.
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


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