Low cloud and poor visibility made the Sound of Mull an unremarkable place yesterday morning so I focused on pushing out the miles and I worked my way east in a series of direct crossings from headland to headland. After two hours of paddling, I approached a wharf where an enormous mechanical grab was methodically unloading trailer-loads of logs and stacking them neatly in huge piles. Lorries lined up in the yard and the sticky scent of the freshly felled timber was carried down to me on the breeze. I landed on a small beach nearby and at exactly ten o’clock the machinery fell silent as the men stopped for their morning crib. Precisely fifteen minutes later, the engines roared back to life and I too returned to my work. Towards the eastern end of the Sound the currents intensify and beyond Craignure an eddy was clearly defined by a long line of froth and weed where the counter-current sheared away from the main eastbound stream. I stopped for lunch on a small beach beneath the iconic Duart Castle, which is currently wearing a spiky fur of scaffold, and whilst I ate I watched the beach expand as the tide fell. I set off once more, rounded the point and slogged my way upwind to the entrance to Loch Spelve where I carried the first of the flood tide in through the Narrows whilst a solitary Golden Eagle circled high above. The wind funnelled fiercely down the Loch and the final approach to the anchorage was long and arduous but I paddled hard in anticipation of the luxuries which awaited me. Back aboard Sherpa, I hauled my heavy kayak up across the cockpit and unpacked. I hung my wet gear out to dry, stowed my boat on the side-deck, had a leisurely swim and then, with a steaming cup of fresh coffee in my tired hands, I enjoyed the familiar comfort of an old pair of jeans and a fraying woollen jumper...