Monday, May 18, 2015

Looking for the monks of Iona - Chapter 1

Saint Columba brought Catholicism to Scotland in the 6th century.  He founded an abbey on Iona Island that became the center of Gaelic monasticism.  On the Victoria Day weekend Brian, Dean, Terry and I went to look for traces of Columba.

We met outside of town at 8:00 am and drove just over an hour to the community of Farhaven where we promptly loaded our kayaks under bright, sunny skies.  But, there was a chill in the air.

The first kilometer was a paddle out of the harbour along the east side.

As we paddled along the eastern shore we had a good view of Long Island 12 kilometers to the west.  Dean and I circumnavigation of the island in 2011.  I looked occasionally to see if I could identify landmarks.

The landscape started out low and somewhat uninspiring.  It didn't diminish my excitement for the adventure that lay ahead.

The water was flat calm.  I felt warm but could still see my breath in the cool air.  Nevertheless, it was the first day of the year I could paddle without neoprene mitts but ...

... Dean was wearing his to start the day.

An hour later we were at Red Cove Head.

The low laying land began to become more dramatic the further south we padled.

We were in no hurry in the calm conditions and the super weather.  We stopped occasionally to drift and "smell the roses".

Two kilometers past Trinny Cove, where we planned to camp the second night, we reached the impressive Corbin Head.  It sticks out prominently from the coast into the sea.  On the other side we ...

... stopped in this un-named cove for lunch at it approached 12:00.  The coves in Placentia Bay invariably are open to the south and with the predominant SW winds, they catch all sorts of flotsam and loads of wood that are piled up lie a jumbled game of "pick up sticks".

We were only a third of our way to Big Seal Cove where we planned to camp for the night before exploring Iona.

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