Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:41 pm

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On Sunday 26th December, we set off from Portencross before dawn.

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We were bound for Arran via Garroch Head on Bute.

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The sense of space was amazing. Ailsa Craig floated on the calm sea over 50km distant to the SE.

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Gradually we were able to look SW right into Glen Sannox with Cir Mhor at its head.

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Away to the north the Arrochar Alps rose above Rubh' an Eun as we approched Garroch Head on Bute.

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We took first luncheon at Port Leithne before...

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...setting off on the 11km crossing to Sannox.

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We savoured the paddle sailing and in mid channel...

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...we enjoyed a view over the Kintyre peninsula to the distant snow covered Paps of Jura some 62km away to the NW.

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This must be one of the most scenic crossings in Scotland which might explain why it is one of our favourite paddles.

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The beach at Sannox is a great place to stretch your legs and take second luncheon before...

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...setting off on the last leg past the attractive village of Corrie to...

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...Brodick Bay, backed by Goatfell.

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We were not the only visitors to Brodick Bay.

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We arrived in good time for the 1640 ferry. The ticket cost us a whole £3.65 and the chef's home made curry was £6.99...what a great end to a perfect day.

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Portencross to Brodick is 30km and is a great paddle for a short winter day.

Douglas

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by soundoftheseagull » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:52 pm

Fabulous
Dave

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by The Shiner » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:04 pm

Great trip and fabulous photos, thanks for sharing.
Can't wait to visit the Highlands in the new year!!

Rich

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by Jim » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:09 pm

I knew you were going to have a great day when I saw your text!
Did I reply? I was still up north and coverage was patchy, it was a nice day to drive home, well, except for all the sheet ice on the road early on.

Rich - that entire trip is south of the Highland fault, but only just, as far as I can tell it runs up Glen Sannox!
Unless the guys made for the north side of the bay, in which case they might just have crossed into the highlands?

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by The Shiner » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:36 pm

Jim wrote:Rich - that entire trip is south of the Highland fault, but only just, as far as I can tell it runs up Glen Sannox!
Unless the guys made for the north side of the bay, in which case they might just have crossed into the highlands?
Just looked on Google maps, I didn't realise Arran was lower than Glasgow?

I am still looking forward to a trip to the Highlands (definitely north of Glasgow... Skye)

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by Jim » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:38 pm

Yes, few people from outside the area seem to realize that the Clyde coast can be very scenic too :-) Hard to find a really dull bit of Scotland....

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by nigelhatton » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:39 am

Excellent Douglas, more intersting than the southern monotany we keep getting drip fed. you should make a video of your trips, I'd probably buy it!
Happy new year to everyone

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:44 am

Thank you all.

Jim both you and David were missed!

Rich, Jim is right, the Highland boundary fault runs right up Glen Sannox and we did land on the north side of the glen! However, those wonderful mountains lie on both sides of the fault, which rather blurs the definition of Highlands or Lowlands. I am no geologist but I understand the HBF is about 300 to 400 million years old and the volcanic activity that broke through it, creating Arran's granite mountains, took place about 65 million years ago.

Skye and everywhere else on the west coast is stunning but I agree withy Jim, do not underestimate the Clyde!

Douglas :o)

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by PhilAyr » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:13 pm

Fabulous pictures Douglas and what a superb paddle ! It certainly did manage to blow my festive cobwebs away!! The high point for me was the paddle/sail from Garroch Head to Sannox bay... Simply wonderful !

Note to potential visitors to Scotland from south of the border.. The outstanding beauty of Scotland is not just confined to the "highlands" and areas north of Glasgow ! ;-)

Phil
Last edited by PhilAyr on Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by Yakdiver » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:17 pm

Cracking photos as usual well done
Name Richard
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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by Katiee » Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:00 pm

Oh wow,
This looks like an amazing trip. A friend and I are planning on doing this crossing over to Brodick in half term because of the short days and your pictures and advice with the map are really helpful. It looks beautiful.
Thanks for sharing,
Katie

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:23 pm

Thanks Phil and Richard. Phil it was one of my best days on the water too. Snow on the mountains, sunshine a bit of tide and a decent wind, chicken bhoona on the ferry back and all a 35 minute drive from home...it really could not get much better.

Thank you Katie.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Some rough timings averaged from quite a few crossings: meet at Ardrossan at 8am leave one car in the car park and shuttle to Portencross.

On the water at 9am arrive Port Leithne on Garroch Head, Bute (8.3km) about 1030 for first luncheon. (If the tide is ebbing strongly use the eddy to go up to the lighthouse on the west side of Little Cumbrae before crossing to Bute.)

Leave Port Leithne at 11am arrive Sannox (11.3km) at 1pm for second luncheon.

Leave Sannox at 13:30 (don't underestimate this bit in a flood tide as it can take a bit longer than you think) arrive Brodick (10.3km) at 3:30 in time to get changed, buy tickets and get the boats loaded onto trolleys in time for ferry loading which usually starts at 4:10 for 4:40 departure. Sometimes kayaks are loaded first sometimes last.

As you can see from the above timings we are not fitness paddlers so you might enjoy more/longer luncheons and still make the ferry. I can't think of a better day trip in winter.

Douglas

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by andyE » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:00 pm

That's one hell of a back garden to play in Douglas. Grate trip.

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Re: Crossing to Arran on a short winter day.

Post by orkfay » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:04 pm

Great photos and sounds like a great trip

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