The Solway has it all!^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
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Douglas Wilcox
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The Solway has it all!^

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue May 02, 2006 8:19 am

It might come as a surprise but most of my sea kayaking is done on the Solway. Here is why..


Easter and the Solway fin whale:
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The full picture set is here.

Wildlife:
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Sea stacks:
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Caves:
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You can paddle right into:
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Castles (this one is a folly)
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Other ruins and at this time of year the gorse is amazing:
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Big islands:
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Little Islands and creeks:
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Rocky coves:
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Sandy beaches and in the right conditions, surf:
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And the tides, they can go out for a couple of miles or so!
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Douglas :o)

andreadawn
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Post by andreadawn » Tue May 02, 2006 10:14 am

Douglas Wilcox wrote:The Solway has it all!
Yes, but it's all over your side of the water! Still, no further than N Wales, and rather quieter I suspect. All looks very attractive.

How easy is it to work the tides in places like Fleet Bay, Douglas? My local estuary, the Duddon, is only really paddleable on springs for about three hours around high water.

Andrea.

ps Who was Daft Ann (NX840498) ?

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue May 02, 2006 7:53 pm

Hello Andrea,
Neaps or springs, most of Fleet bay is paddleable for 3 hours either side of high water. Most of the other bays such as Kirkudbright, Auchencairn and Rough Firth are the same. Brighouse Bay camp site has a slip with low tide access.

Carrick NX575500 and Mossyard at either side of the mouth of Fleet bay have reasonable access even at low water, especially at neeps. Outside of the bays the coastline is very rugged and a combination of tide, wind, swell and clapotis can make bay to bay trips interesting and committing.

Daft Anne's steps are a set of rocky pillars extending from the south of Hestan Island. In the Story of Hestan Island, published by Auchencairn History Society, Mark White gives the following account. Daft Anne was a person of weak intellect who lived in Auchencairn. In those days the tide in Auchencairn Bay went out further than today and it was possible (but not recommended) to cross from Balcary Point to the south side of Hestan Island at low tide. This saved a long trek round the north end of the bay to Almorness Point and the safer crossing to the north of the island. Needless to say, Daft Anne got drowned on the short crossing.

Daft Anne's Steps:
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There is one of the best beaches in the West of Scotland near Almorness Point.

Talking of further east in the Solway than Fleet Bay, the magnificent Dalbeattie "7 stanes" MTB track is just inland from Rough Firth.

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Douglas

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Tue May 02, 2006 8:13 pm

And what about the old brock like structure near the folly? I have a photo of it somewhere but can't find it at the minute. It's somewhere near Borgue.

H - x

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue May 02, 2006 9:11 pm

Hello Helen,

Image

Well remembered. We ran out of time this time so did not stop. It is in the middle of the gorse bushes (just behind the foreground rock) at the west side of Castle Haven Bay. It is a first century BC Iron Age galleried fort or dun wioth a landing site. It was restored in 1910. It is laid out as a D with three inner galleries accessed by six doors.

Here is an arial view of the head of Castle Haven Bay showing the "D". The rock in the foreground of the above photo is the bright spot at the middle of the lower edge of the arial photo.
Image

Douglas

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Tue May 02, 2006 10:12 pm

WOW - never realised it was that old. Why have Timeteam never excavated it? It is a truely amazing structure.

H - x

andreadawn
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Post by andreadawn » Wed May 03, 2006 6:33 am

Thanks for the information Douglas. Will have to see if I can fit in a long weekend in the area this summer.

Andrea.

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