Wilderness Hebridean holiday heaven

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.

Wilderness beaches

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.

Wildlife

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:

  1. Tender summer squid with chorizo + aioli
  2. Seaweed rosti with baked trout + wild garlic
  3. Baked cod with tomato, garlic + shoreline herbs
  4. Shoreline crab linguine and wild garlic
  5. Squid, chickpea + chorizo salad
  6. Hebridean hobo haversack
  7. The scallop diver’s dram
  8. Blood orange seared wild scallops
  9. Baked wild sea trout and shoreline herbs
  10. Wooded shoreline double garlic risotto
  11. Blueberry orange muffins
  12. Cinnamon breakfast buns

Live light

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.

Ode to E numbers

Worried whether the lobsters we catch are red enough, the hand dived wild scallops shiny enough or whether our hickory cured ocean fresh fish tastes smokey enough, we stay abreast of chemical options with which to improve upon nature.

Afterall, when a lobster ain’t quite like the catalogue, surely it can always be pimped with additives — retail’s Photoshop equivalent.

Keep calm

Here follows a list of E numbers in ode to their contribution to world cuisine as made available to consumers by our discerning supermarkets who, having come to the realisation natural food is so passé, enable us to keep calm and carry on consuming.

Although keeping calm whilst consuming attention deficit disorder inducing E133 Brilliant Blue can be a rather twitchy challenge but that’s probably for another post.

Carry on

The purpose of the list is simply to reassure — where nature fails there is a supermarket solution. Albeit wonderfully chemical.

Artificial colours — a rainbow of carcinogenic colour

E100 Curcumin
E101 (i) Riboflavin (ii) Riboflavin-5′-phosphate
E102 Tartrazine
E104 Quinoline yellow
E110 Sunset Yellow FCF; Orange Yellow S
E120 Cochineal; Carminic acid; Carmines
E122 Azorubine; Carmoisine
E123 Amaranth
E124 Ponceau 4R; Cochineal Red A
E127 Erythrosine
E128 Red 2G
E129 Allura Red AC
E131 Patent Blue V
E132 lndigotine; Indigo Carmine
E133 Brilliant Blue FCF
E140 Chlorophylls and chlorophyllins
E141 Copper complexes of chlorophyll and chlorophyllins
E142 Green S
E150a Plain caramel
E150b Caustic sulphite caramel
E150c Ammonia caramel
E150d Sulphite ammonia caramel
E151 Brilliant Black BN; Black PN
E153 Vegetable carbon
E154 Brown FK
E155 Brown HT
E160a Carotenes
E160b Annatto; Bixin; Norbixin
E160c Paprika extract; Capsanthian; Capsorubin
E160d Lycopene
E160e Beta-apo-8′-carotenal (C30)
E160f Ethyl ester of beta-apo-8′-carotenoic acid (C30)
E161a Flavoxanthin
E161b Lutein
E161c Cryptoaxanthin
E161d Rubixanthin
E161e Violaxanthin
E161f Rhodoxanthin
E161g Canthaxanthin
E162 Beetroot Red; Betanin
E163 Anthocyanins
E170 Calcium carbonate
E171 Titanium dioxide
E172 Iron oxides and hydroxides
E173 Aluminium
E174 Silver
E175 Gold
E180 Litholrubine BK
E181 Tannic acid, Tannins

Artificial preservatives — food for eternity

E200 Sorbic acid
E202 Potassium sorbate
E203 Calcium sorbate
E210 Benzoic acid
E211 Sodium benzoate
E212 Potassium benzoate
E213 Calcium benzoate
E214 Ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E215 Sodium ethyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E216 Propyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E217 Sodium propyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E218 Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E219 Sodium methyl p-hydroxybenzoate
E220 Sulphur dioxide
E221 Sodium sulphite
E222 Sodium hydrogen sulphite
E223 Sodium metabisuiphite
E224 Potassium metabisulphite
E225 Potassium sulphite
E226 Calcium sulphite
E227 Calcium hydrogen sulphite
E228 Potassium hydrogen sulphite
E230 Biphenyl; diphenyl
E231 Orthophenyl phenol
E232 Sodium orthophenyl phenol
E233 Thiabendazole,2-(Thiazol-4-yl) benzimidazole
E234 Nisin
E235 Natamycin
E236 Formic acid
E237 Sodium formate
E238 Calcium formate
E239 Hexamethylene tetramine
E242 Dimethyl dicarbonate
E249 Potassium nitrite
E250 Sodium nitrite
E251 Sodium nitrate
E252 Potassium nitrate
E260 Acetic acid
E261 Potassium acetate
E262 Sodium acetate
E263 Calcium acetate
E264 Ammonium acetate
E270 Lactic acid
E280 Propionic acid
E281 Sodium propionate
E282 Calcium propionate
E283 Potassium propionate
E284 Boric acid
E285 Sodium tetraborate; borax
E290 Carbon dioxide
E296 Malic acid
E297 Fumaric acid
E1105 Lysozyme

Antioxidants — life’s better without air

E300 Ascorbic acid
E301 Sodium ascorbate
E302 Calcium ascorbate
E303 Potassium ascorbate
E304 Fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid
E306 Tocopherols
E307 Alpha-tocopherol
E308 Gamma-tocopherol
E309 Delta-tocopherol
E310 Propyl gallate
E311 Octyl gallate
E312 Dodecyl gallate
E315 Erythorbic acid
E316 Sodium erythorbate
E319 Tert-ButylHydroQuinone
E320 Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
E321 Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Artificial sweeteners — side effects without bitterness

E420 (i) Sorbitol (ii) Sorbitol syrup
E421 Mannitol
E950 Acesulfame K
E951 Aspartame 
E952 Cyclamic acid and its Na and Ca salts
E953 lsomalt
E954 Saccharin and its Na, K and Ca salts
E957 Thaumatin
E959 Neohesperidine DC
E965 (i) Maltitol (ii) Maltitol syrup
E966 Lactitol
E967 Xylitol

Emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents — a potpourri of improvement

E322 Lecithins
E400 Alginic acid
E401 Sodium alginate
E402 Potassium alginate
E403 Ammonium alginate
E404 Calcium alginate
E405 Propane-1,2-diol alginate
E406 Agar
E407 Carrageenan
E407a Processed eucheuma seaweed
E410 Locust bean gum; carob gum
E412 Guar gum
E413 Tragacanth
E414 Acacia gum; gum arabic
E415 Xanthan gum
E416 Karaya gum
E417 Tara gum
E418 Gellan gum
E425 Konjac
E432 Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate; Polysorbate 20
E433 Polyoxyethylene sorbitan mono-oleate; Polysorbate 80
E434 Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monopalmitate; Polysorbate 40 
E435 Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate; Polysorbate 60
E436 Polyoxyethylene sorbitan tristearate; Polysorbate 65
E440 Pectins
E442 Ammonium phosphatides
E444 Sucrose acetate isobutyrate
E445 Glycerol esters of wood rosins
E460 Cellulose
E461 Methyl cellulose

E463 Hydroxypropyl cellulose
E464 Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose
E465 Ethyl methyl cellulose
E466 Carboxy methyl cellulose
E467 Sodium carboxy methyl cellulose
E468 Crosslinked sodium carboxy methyl cellulose
E469 Enzymatically hydrolysed carboxy methyl cellulose
E470a Sodium, potassium and calcium salts of fatty Acids
E470b Magnesium salts of fatty acids
E471 Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472a Acetic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472b Lactic acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472c Citric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472d Tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

E472e Mono- and diacetyltartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E472f Mixed acetic and tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
E473 Sucrose esters of fatty acids
E474 Sucroglycerides
E475 Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids

E476 Polyglycerol polyricinoleate
E477 Propylene glycol esters of fatty acids
E479b Thermal oxidised soya bean oil interacted with mono & diglycerides of fatty acids
E481 Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate
E482 Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate
E483 Stearyl tartrate
E491 Sorbitan monostearate
E492 Sorbitan tristearate
E493 Sorbitan monolaurate
E494 Sorbitan monooleate
E495 Sorbitan monopalmitate
E1103 Invertase

Acidity regulators, anti-caking agents, anti-foaming agents, bulking agents, carrier solvents, emulsifiers, firming agents, flavour enhancers,  foaming agents, glazing agents, humectants, packaging gases, propellants and sequestrants — because you’re worth it

E170 Calcium carbonates
E260 Acetic acid
E261 Potassium acetate
E262 Sodium acetate
E263 Calcium acetate
E270 Lactic acid
E290 Carbon dioxideE296 Malic acid
E297 Fumaric acid
E325 Sodium lactate
E326 Potassium lactate
E327 Calcium lactate
E330 Citric acid
E331 Sodium citrates
E332 Potassium citrates
E333 Calcium citrates
E334 Tartaric acid (L-(+))
E335 Sodium tartrates
E336 Potassium tartrates
E337 Sodium potassium tartrate
E338 Phosphoric acid
E339 Sodium phosphates
E340 Potassium phosphates
E341 Calcium phosphates
E343 Magnesium phosphates
E350 Sodium malates

E351 Potassium malate
E352 Calcium malates
E353 Metatartaric acid
E354 Calcium tartrate
E355 Adipic acid
E356 Sodium adipate
E357 Potassium adipate
E363 Succinic acid
E380 Triammonium citrate
E385 Calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetra-acetate; calcium disodium EDTA
E422 Glycerol
E431 Polyoxyethylene (40) stearate
E450 Diphosphates
E451 Triphosphates
E452 Polyphosphates
E459 Beta-cyclodextrin
E500 Sodium carbonates
E501 Potassium carbonates
E503 Ammonium carbonates
E504 Magnesium carbonates
E507 Hydrochloric acid
E508 Potassium chloride
E509 Calcium chloride
E511 Magnesium chloride
E512 Stannous chloride
E513 Sulphuric acid
E514 Sodium sulphates
E515 Potassium sulphates
E516 Calcium sulphate
E517 Ammonium sulphate
E520 Aluminium sulphate
E521 Aluminium sodium sulphate
E522 Aluminium potassium sulphate
E523 Aluminium ammonium sulphate
E524 Sodium hydroxide
E525 Potassium hydroxide
E526 Calcium hydroxide
E527 Ammonium hydroxide
E528 Magnesium hydroxide
E529 Calcium oxide
E530 Magnesium oxide
E535 Sodium ferrocyanide
E536 Potassium ferrocyanide
E538 Calcium ferrocyanide
E541 Sodium aluminium phosphate
E551 Silicon dioxide
E 552 Calcium silicate
E553a (i) Magnesium silicate 
(ii) Magnesium trisilicate
E553b Talc
E554 Sodium aluminium silicate
E555 Potassium aluminium silicate
E556 Aluminium calcium silicate
E558 Bentonite
E559 Aluminium silicate; Kaolin
E570 Fatty acids
E574 Gluconic acid
E575 Glucono delta-lactone
E576 Sodium gluconate
E577 Potassium gluconate
E578 Calcium gluconate
E579 Ferrous gluconate
E585 Ferrous lactate
E620 Glutamic acid
E621 Monosodium glutamate
E622 Monopotassium glutamate
E623 Calcium diglutamate 
E624 Monoammonium glutamate
E625 Magnesium diglutamate
E626 Guanylic acid
E627 Disodium guanylate
E628 Dipotassium guanylate
E629 Calcium guanylate
E630 lnosinic acid
E631 Disodium inosinate
E632 Dipotassium inosinate
E633 Calcium inosinate
E634 Calcium 5′-ribonucleotides
E635 Disodium 5′-ribonucieotides
E640 Glycine and its sodium salt
E650 Zinc acetate
E900 Dimethylpolysiloxane
E901 Beeswax, white and yellow
E902 Candelilla wax
E903 Carnauba wax
E904 Shellac
E905 Microcrystalline wax
E912 Montan acid esters
E914 Oxidised Polyethylene wax
E920 L-Cysteine
E927b Carbamide
E938 Argon
E939 Helium
E941 Nitrogen
E942 Nitrous oxide
E943a Butane
E943b Iso-butane
E944 Propane
E948 Oxygen
E949 Hydrogen
E999 Quillaia extract
E1200 Polydextrose
E1201 Polyvinylpyrrolidone
E1202 Polyvinylpolypyrrolidone
E1404 Oxidised starch
E1410 Monostarch phosphate
E1412 Distarch phosphate
E1413 Phosphated distarch phosphate
E1414 Acetylated starch
E1420 Acetylated Starch
E1422 Acetylated distarch adipate
E1440 Hydroxyl propyl starch
E1442 Hydroxy propyl distarch phosphate
E1450 Starch sodium octenyl succinate
E1451 Acetylated oxidised starch 
Polyethylene glycol 6000
E1505 Triethyl citrate
E1518 Glyceryl triacetate; triacetin
E1520 Propan-1,2-diol; propylene glycol

Alternatively, if one is happy with eating food not designed to stay fresh some time into the next century, one can catch for the pot ocean fresh*


Octane offers gastro wilderness expeditions and, 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 is our quality standard and the term fresh is of course relative. On the high-street, at supermarkets and in city restaurants fresh 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 made a new, differentiated and entirely transparent definition – Ocean fresh. Simply put, it means caught and eaten same-day.