Firth of Forth restrictions (?)

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simmo_the_pom
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 7:41 pm

Firth of Forth restrictions (?)

Post by simmo_the_pom » Mon May 29, 2017 7:46 pm

Hello,

Just getting back into sea kayaking after 10 years absence. I'm on the Forth mainly and I've been informed there are restrictions:
- don't get too close to the bridges
- Mortimers deep is out of bounds

..... etc

Can any one give me any tips not to come a cropper. I would really like to get to some of the islands.

Thanks.

pathbrae
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:42 pm
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Re: Firth of Forth restrictions (?)

Post by pathbrae » Mon May 29, 2017 11:55 pm

Mostly - it's fairly relaxed out on the Forth and sea kayakers have a good relationship with Forth Ports
I'm not sure what the official line is at the moment but the new bridge (Queensferry Crossing) did have a restricted area during it's construction to keep everyone safe, so all vessels had to keep outside the yellow buoys and kayaks were "escorted off" if they cut across. Recently though we've paddled through without any problem. No restrictions, as far as I know, on either of the other bridges - just beware of shipping.
Mortimers Deep and Houndspoint both have "keep Clear" zones around the jetties and a further restriction when there is a tanker docked - but there's plenty of room to pass. Look out for tugs manoeuvring when tankers are berthing / leaving.
Birds and seals are the worry if you want to land on some of the islands - both are protected and it makes inchmic. and inchkeith almost impossible to explore during the breeding season.
The usual advice about crossing deep water channels at 90 degrees and not staying in the shipping lanes any longer than necessary.
VHF ch 71 will let you listen in to Forth Ports so you can get a bit of warning of when ships are moving - or can let you call in before leaving N Queensferry where it's a bit blind coming out to cross S with ferry traffic etc. from Rosyth.
Obviously - the military get more than a bit twichy if you get too close to the dockyard or to the arming dock up from Limekilns
So much sea - so little time to see it.

simmo_the_pom
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 7:41 pm

Re: Firth of Forth restrictions (?)

Post by simmo_the_pom » Tue May 30, 2017 7:39 pm

Great - thank you for all the information.

Daker
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 5:01 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Firth of Forth restrictions (?)

Post by Daker » Wed May 31, 2017 12:58 am

Exercise a bit of common sense, keep your eyes and ears open, don't get in the way of anything bigger than you or to close to anything living and I'm sure you'll be fine.

Of course, you could join either the Fife or Lothian clubs to paddle in company and benefit from others' experience as well as getting access to training, pool sessions etc.

simmo_the_pom
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Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 7:41 pm

Re: Firth of Forth restrictions (?)

Post by simmo_the_pom » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:45 pm

I was at aberdour today, trying to work out where exactly Mortimer deep is. I can see the red / green buoys but it's difficult to judge from the shore.

Anyone with some knowledge?

pathbrae
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Re: Firth of Forth restrictions (?)

Post by pathbrae » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:16 pm

Channel runs between Inchcholm and the mainland. Braefoot terminal sits opposite Inchcolm. The channel markers are only about 250m apart here so no problems paddling across if there's nothing moving when you get to them.
The main deep water channel lies S of Inchcolm, channel markers here are about 500m apart and ships will be moving a bit faster than in Mortimers Deep so in poor visibility a call in to Forth Ports is useful. They'll let you know whether anything is approaching and will let everyone else know you are there.
The Firth of Forth chart might be a useful purchase - it'll show you where the rocks, shallows and markers and lights are.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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