The stark barrenness of boulders, sheep and rocky beaches on Murder Island stirred (again) my desire to explore the Orkney's in Scotland - those northern islands of my maternal ancestry. @hammerhead - let's make it a plan! (P.S. Research with a close Scottish friend who's just returned from the Orkneys informs me these islands do have sheep but are very green and quite lush with trees - my desire to explore remains!)
Stopped for lunch on Murder Island. That's my trusty yellow kayak. An hour before this photo I got caught in the surf and the rocks just around the bend to the left of that white strip you can see (on the land that's attached by a narrow strip to the part of the island I'm standing on taking this photo). One of those instances where you either get out of the boat or get swamped. The rest of the group had gone around the other tip - Art came back to see if I was okay. Thankfully I'd gotten out and pulled my kayak up onto the boulders - then across more boulders to shallower, calmer water where I was able to get back into my boat (very happy for my plastic boat rather than fibreglass!) and over 'here' and to where we all ended up for our lunch. It was tricky, a little nerve-wracking and a lesson learned for more awareness for getting caught in surf and rocks! Chance to keep calm and take your time - not documented anywhere other imprinted in my own mind.
This was the nicest, white-sand beach we saw in all the islands.
Day 3. An encouraging fair-weather sign at 6AM - outside my tent answering nature's good morning call . Broke camp a few hours later, shortly after a family who owned a vacation home on the island docked their Zodiac -a friendly foursome with building materials also piled into their vessel. Apparently par for the course for every jaunt to the island.
Oh how wonderful to wake up to sunshine on day 2, July 15th. Art M. is on the right - mastermind and organizer of this tour and several others I've been able to join - in his hand-built boat which is even heavier than mine! It has a mirage-drive (with fins) for pedalling the water, he can also use a sail, or a paddle. Two of the other paddlers have this mirage gear on their boats - Rich loves that so he can fish and paddle at the same time. Fun and innovative guys!
Day 2 we started paddling towards the two 'flat bumps' you can barely see on the horizon - part of the Bald Islands, with hopes of getting a closer look at what once was the 'Principality of Outer Baldonia' . Some intriguing stories , (a.k.a. men-only fishing lodge, etc. https://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/ca!ns-ob.html). Still some distance from the islands the currents had us paddling for naught and we could see waves crashing on a reef so we changed our nautical plan. We are no wiser to the what and why of the Bald Islands mystique!
The fog hampered our long-distance view of the islands we thought we might camp on: we checked out Johns Island (a bit too stinky with all the sheep - which inhabit many of the Tusket islands) so all agreed on Marks Island. We liked it enough to camp there two nights. In a small dip - where Richard, discovered and devoured a whack of wild strawberries - to protect us from the wind and had a perfect spot for a fire.