A perfect end to a perfect day. It's been almost like summer here today.
The picture looks down the Sound of Mull, with BeinnTalaidh in the distance at right. The first kayakers of the year are paddling along the Ormsaigbeg shore as light winds ruffle patterns across the water.
Back in 2002, Jenny Chapman, who lives at Achnaha, made a short film with some of the children at Kilchoan Primary school. The film was called 'Message', and it was screened at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood as part of the very first Artivist Film Festival in 2004. As Jenny says on her Artwork blog, which features the film today as an Easter message of peace, "The film was composited and animated from live footage and artwork which was created specially by the children of a remote Scottish community (under the direction of Jenny Chapman) in order to send a message of peace to the world at a deeply troubled time. The drawn and painted images which appear in the film are the children’s own, and bear witness to the impact of world events on their imaginations."
With a fine day forecast, we were into the hills this morning as soon as we'd had breakfast, climbing towards the western end of the ridge, Druim na Gearr Leacainn, which runs along the back of Ormsaigbeg. We paused by this glacial erratic, dumped on top of the ridge by a glacier some 10,000 years ago, to look across the Sound to Mull; the passing ship is the Ronja Pioneer, on her way to collect more salmon from the fish farm at Camas Glas.
Looking northwest, the whole of our planned walk lay before us. The main objective was the small lochan just visible to the right of the white house - Grigadale Farm - on the right of the picture. The lochan is another feature which, sadly, the OS 1:25,000 map doesn't name, but it lies below our second objective, the summit of the long ridge of Beinn nan Ord - ord means a rounded hill.
To reach the lochan we followed the small fold which can be seen on the right flank of Beinn nan Ord. In this, there's a small shieling village which we've visited before, though at that time we didn't recognise what these circles of stone were. There are the remains of at least six huts here, typically about 3m across, some of them rather squarer than this one. Since they're on Ormsaigbeg common grazings, we assume it was used by the people of the Orsmaigbeg clachan.
The lochan is small, shallow and almost rectangular in shape. The ridge in the distance is Beinn Bhuidhe. From the knoll to the right of the lochan we looked....
....northwest towards Grigadale Farm, Loch Grigadale and Sgurr nam Meann, and....
....northwards across the small crofting township of Achosnich towards the Isle of Eigg.
We then turned and climbed Beinn nan Ord, from the top of which we could see Lochan Caorach - coarach means sheep - and Ardnamurchan Point lighthouse.
Turning due west, we looked down on these lochans, called Lochain Dubha, the black lochans, and across to another un-named feature, the long ridge which forms the southwestern rim of the end of the peninsula. Just visible on its summit is a trig point.
It was a pleasure to be in the hills on what was a truly beautiful day. The walk took us four and a half hours.
Following his scoop with the mountain biker up Ben Hiant, Chris Gane has sent the Diary these pictures of a kite surfer at Sanna yesterday.
Chris says, "It was blowing a westerly 4 to 5 when we got down onto the beach, with a good swell giving sizeable breakers. A kite surfer was zig-zagging across the bay really fast and jumping high out of the water when he got a big pull on the kite at the moment he hit one of the waves. Amazing to watch.
"He is Ian Mitchell who is staying locally and told me he was using an 8 metre foil kite which looked really high tech. Perhaps a new event for the Regatta?"