8 o’clock on a warm August morning, and a motley crew, teenagers, adults, dogs and oldsters (one wumman, one dog) along with bags and backpacks, boarded Sandy’s RIB at Carsaig jetty. The sky was overcast but the forecast was good and at 25 knots we scooshed across the Sound of Jura and, pausing only to catch a glimpse of the newly airborne young sea eagle chick, we passed through the Gulf of Corryvreckan and headed for Oronsay. Some had never been, some knew it well and all revelled in the sensation of flying across the gently swell. Nearing the shallows off Colonsay we slowed to gently follow the gyrations of a basking shark before heading for a rocky outcrop at the edge of one of Oronsay’s fabulous beaches. Here, with deft touches of power, Sandy skilfully brought his RIB alongside and dogs, youngsters and adults scrambled ashore. The Swift Swimmer disembarked in the rubber dingy once the RIB was anchored off shore.
Ashore, camp was established – the stage was set. Only one thing was missing; all the way across a grey overcast sky had obscured the sun. Magically a small gap appeared overhead, the clouds were swept aside and, in glorious sunshine, all was illumined – pristine white sand dunes, a sweeping expanse of golden beach, crystal clear turquoise sea, tender wavelets leaving lacy tendrils as they glided over the smooth sand. Few could resist the lure of the translucent shallows and in short order everyone was afloat, drifting in and around the rocky inlets or swimming far out to sea, where the water deepened in colour (and shark fins were seen in the near distance). The dogs came too, small Daisy, our Yorkie pup, showing her pleasure by waving her pretty tail as she swam. Between swims there was beachcombing, picnicking and dune jumping, but a game of frisbee had to be abandoned because Daisy and Briar kept making off with the frisbee.
All too soon it was time to return – Sandy had a deadline to meet. Reluctantly we packed up and once again scrambled aboard the RIB. Off Colonsay we again followed a pair of basking sharks and in the Gulf there was great excitement and wonder as we watched a minke whale fishing and off Ruadh Sgeir we saw fat seals sunning themselves on the flat reef.
And so back to Carsaig after a fabulous, wonderful day – a never-to-be-forgotten day – a day to be recalled often – “do you remember the day we went to Oronsay?”……