Posted by: wildswimmers | October 10, 2014

Racing the flood tide at Ruadh Sgeir

Once again a super-exciting swim was suggested by Duggie, who took the Tuesday swimmers out in his beautiful sailing boat into the middle of the Sound of Jura, to race the flood tide round Ruadh Sgeir.  This is a dangerous reef with a lighthouse upon it, within sight of Barnhill, the house on Jura made famous by George Orwell, who wrote 1984 while living there.

The expedition was carefully planned by Duggie; the swimmers would head from the boat to the rock and gather there, before swimming close to the shore, rounding the south end where a huge eddy sweeps towards Jura, and shooting with the tide up the west side, scrambling round the north end and battling the current back up to the starting point.  Lorna and Rob volunteered to row the safety boat, while I (being a rather feeble swimmer) decided to be the photographer.

The current was tremendous and at first even the strong swimmers really struggled to make headway; often the only way to get round was by grabbing onto rocks and pulling themselves along.  After rounding the south end the swimmers had the tide with them and shot along like corks out of a bottle, and in the last stretch, against the tide, the safety boat had to be pushed through a narrow channel (by Duggie of course!).

This swim was a tiny bit scary for some, as the prospect of being swept into the jaws of the notoriously terrifying Gulf of Corryvreckan was indeed a faint possibility!  Everyone managed to get round and all agreed it was the highlight of our swimming season.  Many thanks to Duggie for planning the trip and taking us all out there.



  1. Wowsers Iona! Looks amazing, if a little sporting. We’ll be up for doing this one next time we venture north. Hope all well with you all xxx


    • Yes everything good here thanks, had a wonderful Indian Summer, water still pretty warm xxx


  2. Great blog! Thanks for that- sorry I wasn’t there- wasn’t meant to be- c’est la vie.;-)
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device


  3. Fabuloso! What a swim! Great photos and write-up too. A big hello to you all from Cornwall xx


  4. A great review, Iona. What a fabulous evening!


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