Summer Isles Sea Kayaking

The last week Jen and I have been based up at Reiff with Jim and Jules and Ruaraidh from Norwest Sea Kayaking. On the way up Jen and I broke the journey with a stop at Strathpeffer and a quick walk up Cnoc Mor and along the Cat’s Back ridge. This little hill gives great views to the surrounding hills and coast.

Beinn nan Caorach and Ben Mor Coigach

Beinn nan Caorach and Ben Mor Coigach

On the Monday there was a fairly strong wind, which seemed to constantly shift to be in to our faces. However, after setting off from Badenscallie we visited the islands of Meall nan Gabhar, Horse Island, Carn nan Sgeir, Eilean Dubh and Tanera Mor before returning to our starting point.

The kayaks in a bay on Tanera Beg

The kayaks in a bay on Tanera Beg

Tuesday saw us leaving Old Dornie and heading South down the coast before crossing to Tanera Mor and stopping in to have a look at the old herring processing buildings. We then headed north around the island and out via Eilean Fada Beag and Mor before stopping for lunch and a walk up to the high point of Tanera Beg. After lunch we kayaked back up through Caolas a’Mhill Ghaibh and had a chat with the some of the guys on a Bear Grylls survival course before returning to Old Dornie. On Tuesday evening I went for a run up Meall an Fheadain. This small hill, which sits east of the Altandhu to Polbain road, gives stunning views of the area and has a small slabby crag on the west side of the summit, which gave some delightful easy climbing.

The view from a cave on Rubha Coigeach

The view from a cave on Rubha Coigeach

Wednesday was a beautiful sunny day and we used it to kayak around the Rubha Coigeach peninsula from Achnahaird Bay to Reiff. This was an excellent way of seeing the main climbing areas of Reiff and we were lucky enough to get an excellent view of a sea eagle along the coast.

On Thursday we set off from Old Dornie again, but this time visited Isle Ristol, Eilean Mullargach, Glas-leac Mor and Sgeir Dhubh before heading back to a sandy bay on Isle Ristol to try some rolling practice. Pete who’d been staying with us, but not coming out in the kayaks, had made use of the good weather and spent the week walking up Ben Mor Coigach, Sgurr an Fhidleir and Ben nan Caorach; walking around the Rubha Coigeach peninsula; walking up Cul Beag and cycling to Lochinver.

Jules, Jen, Jim and Ruaraidh with Cul Mor, Stac Pollaidh and Cul Beag behind.

Jules, Jen, Jim and Ruaraidh with Cul Mor, Stac Pollaidh and Cul Beag behind.

Jim and Pete headed off early on Friday and Jen, Ruaraidh and I made for Ardmair. From there we kayaked north and then west along the coast underneath the Postman’s Path before cutting back south to Isle Martin and around its west coast in beautiful sunshine. After a last lunch stop on Isle Martin we paddled back to Ardmair.

An excellent week in a stunning area with good company and some very kind weather.

St Abbs Sea Kayaking

Jen and I were out with George from Dun Eideann Sea Kayaking today. We started from St Abbs and followed the cliffs North around to Pettico Wick where we had lunch. We then continued further East to around Mawcar Stells before returning. There’s lots of excellent channels, arches and caves to play around in along this stretch of coast. The cliffs were either dry or drying fast after the morning showers, but it’s worth noting the nesting birds are returning if you’re thinking of heading to the Fastcastle area for climbing. The photo below isn’t from today as I was having camera trouble again, but shows some terrain typical of the area.

Sea Kayaking on the East Lothian Coast

Sea Kayaking on the East Lothian Coast

 

Sea kayaking in Croatia

The last three Septembers Jen and I have had a sea kayaking trip to North-West Scotland. This year Jen fancied somewhere further afield and we are just back from a week kayaking in Croatia. 

Jen with some typical limestone scenery

Jen with some typical limestone scenery

After flying to Dubrovnik and being picked up by Dom from Adriatic Kayak Tours we had a wander around the beautiful walled city before meeting the rest of the team.

The team with Dom in the background

The team with Dom in the background

The first three nights were in tents as we paddled up the coast from Zaton bay to Broce in the Ston Kanal. At Broce we moved in to the first of the very friendly guesthouses and hotels used for the rest of the trip before a walk in to Ston to see the walls and for another excellent meal. Good food was a definite feature of the trip.

Crossing between islands

Crossing between islands

From Ston we headed back to Dubrovnik over the next three days via the islands of Olipa, Sipan, Lopud, and Kolocep before finishing back in Zaton Bay. The coastline is mostly limestone with lots of caves to explore either in the kayaks or a couple we had to swim in to. There would also be plenty of climbing and deep water soloing potential. The weather wasn’t too hot, we had some rain and evenings were cool, which suited Jen and I. The previous week it had rained properly for the first time in nearly three months, so if you’re a sun lover it might be worth going earlier in the year.

Liz paddling between stacks

Liz paddling between stacks

Thanks to the Liz, Dave, Rosanne and Philip for providing great company and to Tammy and particularly Dom from Adriatic Kayak Tours for his excellent local knowledge, good kayaking tips, patience and sense of fun.

Jen and I near the end of a delightful trip

Jen and I near the end of a delightful trip

North Berwick Sea Kayaking

Out with George from Dun Eideann Sea Kayaking and a group today. We started from North Berwick’s West Beach and headed along the coast for lunch on the beach near Longskelly Rocks before returning via the islands of Fidra and Lamb.

B looking happy to be back in a sea kayak

B looking happy to be back in a sea kayak

The group had a fairly wide experience level, but George and his team of Ailsa and John did a great job of giving enough instruction to provide the confidence to have a fun day out and complete a good journey.

About to launch after lunch

About to launch after lunch

Good views of puffins, gannets, shags, turns, fulmars, kittiwakes, cormorants and the odd seal. The wind was South Westerly to begin, but seemed to drop and come around more Westerly during the day. Mostly sunshine with some cloud and one extremely light shower.

The view from a sea cave on Fidra

The view from a sea cave on Fidra

Sea Kayaking East Lothian

Out on Sunday, 21/04/13, with George from Dun Eideann Sea Kayaking and Jen, Lesley, Ali and Peter. We started from Seacliff in East Lothian and had a good half day kayaking up the coast underneath Tantallon Castle. The South/South-West wind was gusting fairly strongly so we mostly hugged the coast to find shelter. Despite the weather we had the usual excellent time with George, got some great views and saw a good selection of seabirds, seals etc.