Paddles with an Anas acuta...... unashamedly biased toward the sea kayak of that name (actually the voyages of two boats, one 'traffic over gold', one 'quill')

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Shetland: Hillswick, Eshaness and The Faither

Eshaness is justifiably a well known paddle. The view from the lighthouse (extreme right if you click on the photo) is said to be iconic for the land based visitor, but the view back towards it from a kayak is even better. However, we enjoyed the bits of coast before and after most.
 Not Hillswick and the mysterious swell swept Drongs, nice as they are.

We met an otter mother and cubs on a ledge in a cave as well as the maze of arches and stacks,
No, despite some rain, it was the black lava walls of this 40m high arch on the corner of the small islet of Dora Holm

 and the formations on Isle of Stenness and the Skerry of Eshaness
which had an impossible grandeur.
 Then the coast north of Eshaness between Hamna Voe and The Faither is just amazing and much less frequented.

 Caves so large, some joining at the back or by cross passages, some eventually coming out into daylight behind the cliffs. Liz did a good manoeuvre here, the back of two caves were joined by a gap in the curtain of rock but I could see, dimly by my headtorch, a wide rock ledge appearing when the swell was down. So I paddled out of one and back into the other, imagine my surprise to see Liz already in there. She had been having a look at the feasibility of floating over with the swell and the swell had taken matters into its own hands...

A 6m basking shark pinched me against the cliffs near The Faither, the currents had concentrated porpoises, jelly fish, fish and the sea birds along this shore.
Many of the miniature jelly fish appeared to have lights running up and down them, but they were invisible deeper into the caves, so it was probably reflected sunlight rather than luminescence.
The Faither itself is pierced by this arch, leading to further marvels in Ronas Voe.

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