My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun... Taken through my sizeable Schmidt Cass telescope with a low powered Baader Orthoscopic eyepiece, the moon floating over the snow toothed Cuillin & the glittering straits of a million Eldila, out toward Torridon. Tonight our unseen sled dog of kayaking tides is nearly full. The races were streaming down through Kyle, unstoppable in their march. A free ride in the right direction for the kayaker with the wisdom of timing on his side, an uphill thrash in the SoF if you are blind to the direction of stampede & the jellyfish rave.
Earlier this evening I caught sight of headtorches & figures scampering across the ridge toward Sligachan. In the small hours, as the sky rotates, I will get coffee on the boil & gaze into Zeta Orionis, Alnitak, Alnilam & the horse latitudes. Only 2 days until I can hit the water again. Night kayaking is an underrated adventure, crossing open inland seas & straits, blacked out & cutting smooth water with stealth, I carry minimilist equipment, no nav aids or electronics, no BA, flares or any light that hinders my ability to make use of spectral range limitations. Dive strobe & an Underwater Kinetic Mini aside. That is a night run, the Skye bridge blinking green & red at it's gaping apex; a far distant orange flicker of streetlights dot the black edges where only a few hours before, shrill screams & echoes of laughter drifted across the water from emptying bars.
I listen motionless, far out on the water surface, & moving North my eyes catch occasional white beam traces of cars snaking through the Cuillin at 3am, those barbaric teeth fading into cloud peaks & flattened lines as I meander up along Rona & through the z-berth. Cutting in through Garbh Eilean for the slingshot & swinging momentarily alongside the rocks, black wire haired fingers of seaweed stroke the hull & something spooks violently on the shoreline. I find my hand has already checked my Seal knife but quickly dismiss my foolish reaction. A sea otter? possibly... Occasional bats will blip the kayak with sonar & for all I know they could be subcontracted by QinetiQ, & I stroke away fluidly through the Inner Sound & turn for Portree, performing a few roll variations in the black depths of a mid way no mans land. I hear a whale blowholing out in the darkness NW of my course & cutting my rythm to an all stop, I lay my torso onto the forward deck, lowering my silhouette but more importantly, adjusting my sightline along the vague horizon to pick out any shape in the darklight, but I am unable to make visual contact. We are each lit by only the singular awarness of eachothers presence, & each under the pull of that watchful lunar eye, both sharing for a moment, a seperated existance, we pindots say our farewells & coast away within the shadow cast by an entire planet...
Now that's a night out.