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Irish Sea crossing from Campbeltown?

Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 7:35 am
by Jonno13
Has anyone ever crossed to Ireland from Campbeltown by kayak? Would like to know experiences of anyone who has attempted/completed it. Thankyou.

Re: Irish Sea crossing from Campbeltown?

Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 3:56 pm
by Jim
I think it is normally done from Portpatrick, the tides are pretty strong either route, but much more serious going from Campbeltown.

Looking on Performance sea kayak, I notice John Willacy has crossed from Larne to Southend (i.e. missing out the tide races around Sanda to get up to Campbeltown), it is at the bottom of the solo table:
https://performanceseakayak.co.uk/Pages ... hannel.php

Re: Irish Sea crossing from Campbeltown?

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 12:20 pm
by Gordon Gilzean
I've thought about this crossing aswell as it appears to be the shortest route over, it does concern me that there's not a lot of kayakers using this route which makes me question why that is, unpredictable seas? Strong swells and high standing breaking waves perhaps? Or possibly a busy shipping lane

Re: Irish Sea crossing from Campbeltown?

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 5:50 pm
by pathbrae
Gordon Gilzean wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 12:20 pm
I've thought about this crossing aswell as it appears to be the shortest route over, it does concern me that there's not a lot of kayakers using this route which makes me question why that is, unpredictable seas? Strong swells and high standing breaking waves perhaps? Or possibly a busy shipping lane
Yes to all the above Couple that with fast tidal flow on both sides of the crossing, high speed ferry traffic and the commiting nature of the crossing then it's no great surprise that not a lot of sea kayakers take it on. A few have done, but they will have done a lot of tidal planning before hand and picked a weather window.

Re: Irish Sea crossing from Campbeltown?

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 8:19 pm
by Gordon Gilzean
That makes sense then why not many people would risk it, I wouldnt fancy having to navigate through ships in fast flow with high seas, we are invisible at the best of times

Re: Irish Sea crossing from Campbeltown?

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:40 am
by PeterG
From the southern tip of Islay it looks very tempting on a calm day as most of the confused water looks to be fairly close inshore and once beyond that just rivers in the sea with a bit of disturbance where they meet. Always several ships in view though so one might be busy on the VHF.

Someone drove a modified car across from Campbeltown, down the slipway one side and up the slipway on the other 7 hours later, but they had spent years planning and waiting for the right day.

Re: Irish Sea crossing from Campbeltown?

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:05 pm
by Ceegee
From the southern tip of Islay it looks very tempting
I've thought the same thing, but it is 30km to Rathlin, then another 10km to the Antrim coast. I've not paddled those waters myself, but my daughter tells me the tides and overalls around Rathlin are horrendous, worst seas she encountered in her entire circumnavigation or Ireland.

Re: Irish Sea crossing from Campbeltown?

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:27 pm
by PSK
Not exactly the Campbeltown route you ask about but close.

I paddled from Larne to Southend (Dunaverty Bay) as part of my first UK Circumnav in 2012. I was hoping to make Machrihanish but was late setting out and the swell finished me off. I had to turn back to Southend on the MoK - there is a brief blog post here:

http://clockwisekayak.blogspot.com/2012 ... ntyre.html

A route I've looked at is between Southend and Cushenden, about 20nm.

The end of the Mull needs a little research and some respect. Tide change here can suddenly let swell into the North Channel and conditions can change quickly. I paddled around the end of the Mull again in 2015 in a slightly chunky day, it was better than the first time but I'm in no hurry to go back.

However, of course - No swell, no wind, neap tides and local slack water - no problems (a long list though).

If you go via Rathlin then it's a little more complicated and you need to decide on what you prefer - slack at one end or the other - Rathlin can be a tricky spot - but then the end of the Mull can be too. Southend to Cushenden or Waterfoot takes you south of both.

The more usual route between Scotland and NI would be Portpatrick/Donaghadee as people have mentioned. Portpatrick is straightforward. There are tideraces/eddies around the Copeland Isles but on the whole you can run (just) south of these. About 19nm across I think
.
A write-up on a return journey on this route here:
https://www.performanceseakayak.co.uk/A ... j-willacy/

John Willacy

Re: Irish Sea crossing from Campbeltown?

Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:00 pm
by Daker
A few of us did it from Southend a few years ago,paddling across one day, camp overnight and back the next.

I dont have the planning details easily to hand but we did a LOT of planning / re-planning / checking tides etc and penciled in a few possible dates for tides and just had to pick one that had a suitable weather windows.

As it happened we got reasonably light winds which meant heading out in pretty thick fog which fortunately cleared after the 1st hr or so.
Even with light winds we had some sizeable swell at times, obviously from the side which made for slow progress and I seem to recollect it took almost 6 hrs each way, including scheduled rest stops and hard-railing along the coast at start and finish to suitable launch and landing points.

A great experience but one to plan carefully and select your paddling partners carefully for. :-)