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Nigel Dennis & Eila Wilkinson,  Tidal Waters, The Old Chandlery, Newry Beach Road, Holyhead, Isle of Anglesey, LL65 1YD       Tel: +44(0)1407765550    Email: kayak@tidal-waters.com

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St Kilda expedition 2016

 

We aim to meet on Saturday evening 18th June at Loch Maddy after travelling across on the ferry from Oban. Of course you may chose to travel across earlier to take in some exploring of the breathtaking Outer Hebridean islands before the expedition starts!  We will have at least 5 days of paddling.  We will base ourselves on the Outer Hebrides and hope to fit in visits to the Shiant Islands, the Monarch Islands and St Kilda. St Kilda will take preference with the weather - everything is weather dependant, but we always find some magnificant paddling.

 

St Kilda is a magical Island evacuated in 1930. The Island is steeped in history and is home to one of the biggest colonies of gannets in the world.  Being the most westerly Island in the UK it is impossible to reach with public transport.  We use a large RIB that can carry eight sea kayaks. Neil from the Uist outdoor Centre will oversee the kayaks being loaded the night before the expedition to St Kilda. We will leave at 0630hrs. The RIB will take 1½ hrs + depending on the Sea state and travel up to 26 knots. We arrive at around 0830 to 0900hrs, spend two or three hours exploring the Island on foot then set to sea. We will attempt to circumnavigate the Island, load the kayaks back onto the RIB, visit Stack Lee for a last look at the Gannets before heading for home. During the week subject to weather we will attempt to paddle out to the following Islands. If the weather is unsettled then we will undertake day trips amongst the Islands on the Outer Hebrides. Whatever the weather we will always be able to paddle somewhere.

 

The Shiants are 3 lonely islands in the Minch, East of Harris in the tidal Sound of Shiant, meaning charmed, Holy or Enchanted islands this is home to tens of thousands of puffins. Although St Kilda has more puffins, the sheer density on the Shiants is greater.  The islands are also home to a colony of Black Rats, the Shiants islands are the only place in the UK where the black rat or ship's rat can still be found.  Volcanic rocks and columns extending over 120 meters makes for some exciting and dramatic paddling, with caves to explore.

 

The Monach Islands or Heisker are low lying and sandy islands lie West of North Uist and make for an interesting over-night camping trip. The islands are a National Nature Reserve for the beautiful machair and their impressive Grey Seal Grey population. Tens of thousands of seals come ashore each autumn to have their pups and mate, making it one of the largest such colonies in the world. The islands have been uninhabited since 1942. Prior to this they were inhabited by about 100 people for centuries leading up to 1810 – possibly as long as a thousand years before. You can fly to Glasgow airport. We would recommend that you hire a car and cross to the Outer Hebrides via Sky or Oban. We will provide all kayaks and the transportation of the kayaks whilst on expedition. Tents etc could also be supplied if needed. You have the choice of free camping, accommodation at the Uist Outdoor Centre or Bed and Breakfast.

 

Cost £395 for the week includes kayak hire if required and kayak transportation and all instruction.  We can supply some of the kit you may require, ask when booking.

There is an additional cost for the RIB to St Kilda. This is payable direct to the Uist Outdoor Centre when we are there. With kayaks the trip is £180 (subject to change) a little less without kayaks.

Outer Hebrides & St Kilda Expedition 2016       18th - 25th June

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Cost of expedition - £395  includes SKUK glass kayak hire & any kit required*

Extras- Cost of RIB (Rigid Infatable fast boat) to St Kilda £180

Not included - Food / accommodaiton / travel