Explorer and Independent Biologist

Monday, 25 October 2010

The sea lochs of Argyll

I reported the first part of my kayaking adventure on the lochs of Argyll, Scotland, on Loch Lomond, here. From there,  I continued to the west coast to explore the sea lochs, in particular Loch Long, Loch Goil and Loch Fyne. The sea lochs are valleys ground out by glaciation in the last Ice Age and where the glaciers flowed into the sea, long deep tidal inlets (rather like the Norwegian fjords) were created.

The sea lochs of Argyll: 
Black arrow Loch Long; Red arrow Loch Goil; Green arrow Loch Fyne

Loch Long
Loch Long. I like to paddle my kayak quietly along the shore at the edge of the 
kelp beds - who know what secrets may lurk there

A curious passer by - maybe it is the Seal of Approval

I was able to use the current to drift to within six feet of this winter-plumaged Guillemot

A Shag hauls out to dry on a disused herring wharf

Loch Goil
I launch at the head of Loch Goil on a calm but murky morning, at the point of the red arrow in the map above. Five miles south-east (almost where it joins Loch Long) is the settlement of Castle Carrick. To aim for this castle would be the longest kayak trip I had ever undertaken. Should I dare go for it?

Carrick Castle looms out of the mist - nearly there!

I pull ashore and take a picture to prove I made it!
(There is some history of the castle here)

Although late in the season, there were still some mackerel 
to be caught in the sea lochs.
These fish made me a fine supper, filleted and fried on my Trangia camping stove.

Then it was on to Loch Fyne - and that story is for the  next post!


  1. Was that one of the castles that Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in?

  2. It is reported that she stayed there but no record of her being incarcerated there. There is some history of it here

  3. wow mate- great fishing, superb views... excellent and inspiring!

  4. Fine photographs. Thanks. Beautiful the British Isles are.

    I read up a little on the history of the Castle, and seems it was linked to William Wallace's time as well.

    I also found one of my own wee plots of land In Scotland as I clicked about on my computer: Burgh by Sands.

  5. Thank you all for your comments. The final part of the adventure will be published soon.

    Donsands: You must let me know when you come to Scotland, we can share a haggis and a bottle of whisky :-)

  6. I'm making a mental note of that, and shall be delighted when the Lord makes a way for me to visit the British Isles, and Ireland of course.

  7. Wow. That's a pretty close view on the whirlpool. I'm pretty sure that corryvreckan cruises doesn't get too close as this. If you're the one who loves thrilling trips like this, an RIB trip with friends would be awesome.