Octane expeditions venture to World Heritage Coastline islands – the closest true wilderness of note to London. Our expedition bothy is an hour from Oban which in turn is a sleeper train journey from London.
Octane is located within one of Britain’s last remaining traffic warden free zones. There are no roads or cars and, if frappuccino is de rigueur with your wifi there’s going to be tears. That having been said, with solar powering our connection with near space satellite orbits, we’ve probably got wifi covered.
Despite our apparent lack of mochalatte frappiatos we do have a wilderness coastline with azure blue waters and pristine white coral beaches. There are sea eagles and golden eagles soaring gracefully above world famous basalt pillar rock formations and seals diving alongside if eyes are averted whilst practicing the art of looking bashful.
Passing whales will gently and gracefully make your paddling efforts look pedestrian and there are famous basalt caves people have traveled from the farthest corners of the world to marvel at.
The archipelago of Staffa and the Treshnish Isles is some of Scotland’s most protected coastline – home to little otters and enormous orcas alike. Dolphins, seals, porpoises and basking sharks pass alongside whilst gannets fold their wings to dive from 60 feet in the air through the waves like spears to catch smaller fish below.
Gastro wild camping
We eat the wild food we catch and do not believe campers should survive on a diet of baked beans, biltong and instant coffee. Our gastro campfire recipes keep guests fuelled for each day ahead:
- Tender summer squid with chorizo + aioli
- Seaweed rosti with baked trout + wild garlic
- Baked cod with tomato, garlic + shoreline herbs
- Shoreline crab linguine and wild garlic
- Squid, chickpea + chorizo salad
- Hebridean hobo haversack
- The scallop diver’s dram
- Blood orange seared wild scallops
- Baked wild sea trout and shoreline herbs
- Wooded shoreline double garlic risotto
- Blueberry orange muffins
- Cinnamon breakfast buns
So kick back and relax – all food, provisions and equipment are included. If you forget to pack something it’s more than likely it can be purchased from our store. Not that much requires bringing – sleeping bag, waterproofs, torch, walking boots, swimming trunks and some money for your train or plane home. Sourcing food amongst stunning, wild remote islands is most enjoyable whilst traveling light – an Inuit saying ‘live life like you are in a kayak’ is a good starting point for packing a bag for expedition.
The folding kayak
Our craft of choice is the Folbot Cooper Expedition. Folding Kayaks give Octane the ability to travel more lightly and to be more mobile. Other kayaks types don’t fit on a rib or indeed in the pickup truck rear bucket.
Aluminium has long since replaced the wooden frames making it lighter, stronger and smaller when stowed. Furthermore it is more buoyant at sea giving the craft a superior load capacity for expedition provisions.
Closer to the sea
I prefer folding kayaks because the give of the canvas makes me feel closer to the sea. Others prefer the sleekness and sheen of fibreglass kayaks making them a great deal faster and I love them too – they save energy in paddling and are the Formula 1 of the kayak world. But they still don’t fit in the rib or in my truck.
Octane offers gastro wilderness expeditions – employing Octane’s Eight* methods of sourcing wild food for the pot, we eat the world’s best food, ocean fresh**.
*Octane’s Eight is our philosophy – we believe our travelling guests, being closest to the world’s wildest fresh foods, might quite like to eat the world’s wildest fresh foods. 1) We line fish, 2) we lobster pot, 3) we spear fish, 4) we sea forage, 5) we land forage, 6) we deer stalk, 7) we seed the sea, 8) we seed the land.
**Ocean fresh – the term fresh fish is of course relative. On the high-street, at supermarkets and in city restaurants fresh fish really means days old so, when patiently waiting for your number to be called at the fish-counter, be ready to ask where your fish is from and how many days ago it was likely caught. Supermarkets invent terms to suit their needs and, as a discerning consumer, it really is your right to challenge nonsense. At Octane we have therefore made a new, differentiated and entirely transparent definition – Ocean fresh. Simply put, it means caught and eaten same-day.
See OCEAN FRESH in practice – with the post ‘Drive–by calamari’ – ocean fresh calamari caught, cooked and served in under an hour.