It’s one thing that lockdown hasn’t taken, the opportunity to adventure and enjoy nature. We hope that as the good weather approaches and lockdown restrictions ease, people will continue to live life the wild way by keeping up the hobbies that brought them inner freedom through lockdown.
For us, it’s the surf, it’s the Atlantic sea and the salty waves. It’s the community and the company that comes with surfing and water sports. It could be surfing, stand up paddleboarding, freediving, sea swimming, bodyboarding, skimboarding or windsurfing, whatever you think you might enjoy – there’s never been a better time to try it than now.
We caught up with a fellow explorer and lifestyle adventurist, Eilidh from @waters_out_west. She’s here to share her insight into exploring the outdoors around her home in the Isle of Barra and finding new ways to engage with the sea when restrictions were in place. Eilidh is a great example of living life the wild way and appreciating the wonder of nature in the Western Isles of Scotland.
Read on to hear Eilidh’s take on the last year featured on our Wild Atlantic Surf Co blog and keep up with her adventures on Instagram, @waters_out_west.Eilidh from @waters_out_west
At a time when the world felt like it had been turned upside down, where we were bound by new rules and restrictions, sometimes it’s nice to remember the things I could still do, to try and hold onto the remainder of my sanity.
Growing up on the Isle of Barra, in the Western Isles of Scotland I spent much of my childhood outdoors, by the sea, in the sea, on the sea! Lockdown on the Isle of Skye, where I live now, has been a nice way for me to get back to that, and remind me of all the things I love about island life.
When all we could do was walk…
From the stunning coastlines to the incredible hills there is no shortage of beautiful places nearby to break up the monotony. I have been loving getting my wellies on, filling up a flask and heading out on an adventure. With plenty of wide open space, it was a great way to do socially distanced catch ups with friends too. Discovering bothies and lighthouses at the peninsulas, seeing all sorts of wildlife like incredible sea eagles and dolphins, or ending up thigh deep in bogs, there was never a dull moment. I’ve really enjoyed the chance to explore Skye a bit more and discover the island that I’m so lucky to live on.
When I had run out of things to watch….
There’s something so peaceful about life under the water. Snorkelling has been a welcome escape from the madness of the world and an opportunity to literally dive into another one. Watching life below the surface, shoals of fish swimming, crabs scuttling about between rocks, the scallops snacking away on the seabed, made a nice change from binge watching tv series in my pyjamas…because let’s be honest, we all had days like that!
When I needed a holiday…
Packing a bag, leaving work behind, and heading off. Whether it’s a relaxing break away or something more adventurous, I think we all look forward to our holidays. With the travel restrictions over the last year we’ve had to adapt and find a different way to spend our time off.
There’s nothing I’ve appreciated more than getting out on my paddleboard during lockdown. On a summer’s day with the sun on your skin, the wind in your hair, and the salty kiss of the sea air on your face, you could be anywhere in the world.
It might not have seemed far, but a paddle from Skye over to Raasay, a neighbouring island, felt like a great expedition and a little break away. Planning a route, checking the tide times, packing our bags and heading off on our adventure; it really did feel like a holiday, even if it was just for the day!
For me, it’s been an incredible way to get to some of the smaller islands or rocks that scatter the coastline of Skye. Enjoying life at a slower pace, paddling off into the sunset, experiencing nature from a different point of view, what a way to relax!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all been sunshine and sea sports. Winter was long and dark. The weather was miserable. Paddle boarding in full waterproofs, is a far cry from the glamorous bikini clad pics you see on Instagram! But, I count myself very lucky to have had some lovely experiences in what has been a challenging time for so many of us. From surfing, to kayaking, snorkelling to paddle boarding, I’ve been reminded that living on an island on the west coast of Scotland, there’s an almost endless list of outdoor activities to do. I cannot wait to share this with friends and family when they’re allowed to visit, hopefully in the not too distant future!
Thank you for sharing your story @waters_out_west. We have lots of support for adventurers and outdoor sports enthusiasts at Wild Atlantic Surf Co, and anyone can become a member of our salty community. If you’re considering trying out a new sports activity, like paddle boarding or surfing, we encourage you to give it a go and embrace the great outdoors!