St Abbs, sea kayaking paradise: Xmas shopping avoidance.

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Douglas Wilcox
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St Abbs, sea kayaking paradise: Xmas shopping avoidance.

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:09 pm

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Douglas :o)
Last edited by Douglas Wilcox on Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Phil1969
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on the other.....

Post by Phil1969 » Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:36 pm

I, by some magical querk of fate, managed both! Early paddle in the Irish sea which was flat calm and then shopping in Douglas which was anything but.

cheriewalpole
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On the other hand, I could have gone Xmas shopping......

Post by cheriewalpole » Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:46 pm

I would have chosen to kayak in sea !!

With a prefect sea at the moment here in Norfolk...But beaches all boarded up ..Sea really cold ( never kayaked yet in winter) and NO one to go on Norfolk Broads with me its Christmas shopping for now !!!

So till Easter next year my Kayak will have a rest...then it will spend 5-6 months on my roof rack and in the sea...being well used by ALL the family .

Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Dec 12, 2004 1:02 pm

I can't guess where you were except its definatly not Sauchihall Street

KevinM

Post by KevinM » Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:54 pm

What a contrast to the southern part of the British Isles. It feels bitterly cold in Jersey at the moment. This morning it was 2 degrees when we launched and the force 4 easterly wind created quite a significant wind chill factor. That said we had a great couple of hours on the water!

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Douglas Wilcox
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temperature

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:34 pm

Hello Kevin,

These cliffs and caves were nearly as interesting as the hidden bits of Jersey's coast you showed me in the summer.

But there was not so much difference in temperature as you might think. When we launched at dawn yesterday the temperature was -2.5C and freezing fog was pouring down on us from the clifftops! Fortunately it warmed up during the day and packing up in the dark it was 4C.

Unfortunately the great mass of sea birds you see in the summer on these cliffs were off on their Xmas holidays. Somewhat south of Jersey, methinks!

Douglas:o)

PS with regards to location, here is another quick castle clue, not much, I know!
Image

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Sun Dec 12, 2004 5:40 pm

Nope, beats me! Don't think I've been there!

Douglas isn't the only one still paddling though - I bumped into Tony at Barassie this afternoon setting off for Lady Island in his rockhopper. I had stupidly been tricked by the wind into getting changed but it disappeared again before I was ready. If only I'd had a boat instead of my plank!

Can't remember yesterday (oh that's right I was sleeping!) but today was actually pretty warm, spent much of it in a t-shirt on the beach but had to put a long sleeved top on when the wind came up briefly.

Anyway, hope Tony has made it back safe, what little wind there was was mostly cross shore but occasionally veering cross-offshore (I wasn't ecstatic about that either!) - I'm sure it won't challenge him though, in fact for the most part it will help him home.

JIM

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Sun Dec 12, 2004 5:43 pm

Actually the stump of a castle is not entirely unlike Brochel, the setting is all wrong though. Plus that would be quite a day trip assuming no ferries were used to get to the put-in!

JIM

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Douglas Wilcox
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Brochel Castle

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:23 pm

Hi Jim,

Brochel on Raasay
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is a really good suggestion but it is just a bit far for a day paddle from Glasgow!

Douglas:o)

PS. Glad to hear of your caution with cross off winds, I do not windsurf in them either, even though they hold the waves up nicely.

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Post by Dave Thomas » Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:11 am

Those convoluted strata look familiar ....! And I haven't paddled that much within your day-trip range of Glasgow. Garvellachs?

That would be a fair day trip, but then you said you launched at dawn and were packing up in the dark, so it wasn't a two-hour stroll! I guess Easdale would be the nearest mainland kicking-off point.

Dave

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Post by tpage » Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:25 am

I dont recognize this coastline at all- Im guessing East coast south of Dunbar? Sun is setting over the land in the last pictures. My only excursion East is to paddle to Bass Rock- or surfing near Torness so it dosnt look familiar at all!
Jim, I made it back fine- all the wind was outside the harbour in Troon decent swell as well- it did surf me all the way home before dark- I also had a big grey seal for company for over an hour- he followed me from the harbour out and back again- so I wasn quite alone.. Tony

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Post by Jim » Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:10 pm

I knew I should have gone to south beach!
Wind direction would have been more friendly there too :(

JIM

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Douglas Wilcox
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St Abbs, winter paddling: Xmas shopping avoidance

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:51 pm

Dave T> Those convoluted strata look familiar ....! And I haven't paddled that much within your day-trip range of Glasgow. Garvellachs?

Hi Dave, yes I thought of the strata were reminiscent of Seil:
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or the Garvellachs area, we went out throgh the Grey Dogs at the end of October:

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Tony P>Im guessing East coast south of Dunbar? Sun is setting over the land in the last pictures.

Spot on Tony, like Jim who suggested Raasay east coast, you noticed the sunset over the land.

I had hoped that someone would have spotted the quick castle clue: actually Fast Castle

We launched at Pease Bay and landed at Coldingham Sands. Both are well known surf beaches but the surf was only 18inches at both. Not many landings in between dude to dumping surf on shingle/steep cobbles. We landed at NT876700 in the pic above. As you can see, the surf was a bit bigger here, see kayak for scale.

The best bit of the trip was St Abb's Head, unbelievable pinnacles and fissures through the rock, some stretching up over 30m but only 2m wide!
Caves, channels, dead ends, doglegs, truly seakayaking paradise, only missing the millions of birds that crowd here in the summer.

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Douglas:o)

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Post by Jim » Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:32 pm

OK, so I have surfed Pease and Coldingham (not in that order) but never paddled in between the 2!

So the only Sandy beach is in the 4th photo, and I can't fit either Pease or Coldingham into the photo, unless it's looking accross the burnmouth at Pease, in which case how did you end up on that side of the burn, I'm sure hte path through the caravan park comes in on the other side????? Maybe it's just a tide state I haven't seen them at, having only been to each once, on the same day, moving from Coldingham to Pease as the surf dropped off at the former.....

Anyway, after a bit of thought, it looks a nice trip, but I don't think I'll be doing it in my playboat to chase the surf! especially if it was a dawn to dusk job in the sea boats!

JIM

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St Abb's

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:33 pm

Jim>I can't fit either Pease or Coldingham into the photo

Hello Jim,

The bay in this picture,
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is between Pease and St Abb's. It was the only beach in between without common seals and their pups. The bulls were rutting if that's the right word.


This is the west end of Pease Bay, missing out the eyesore caravan site, (I have to own up to having a caravan at the beach in the Solway so I am a complete hypocrite when it comes to the visual impact of wind farms).
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There is a public carpark NT794706 just outside the caravan site barrier, 250m from the beach. In the summer you would need to carry the boats througth the caravan site but the manager let us in because the site was closed.

This is Coldingham Sands Bay
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The car park is 250m from the beach and 30m up! we used a trolley to bring the boats from the beach up a private road with a gate/sign post that says "No unauthorised vehicles. No launching of boats".

The hotel/bar is right next to the carpark. The hotel has a webcam.


You could also park/launch in St Abb's harbour for a small fee.

Douglas:o)

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:57 pm

OK, so there were no photos of either Pease or Coldingham in the first batch to give me any clues :)

Come to think of it though, both beaches are pretty featureless, and when surfing I would have spent most of my time either facing the caravan site (at Pease) or roadway (at Coldingham) or squinting out to sea and not paying attention to the scenery along the beaches! Even in the photo of Pease there is barely anything of the beach in it never mind any landmark - I think if I could see the caravan park, and burn and the concrete wall between them I would recognise it (sad or what!). As for the Coldingham photo, again it could be anywhere from that angle, but a front on view from the water showing the road angling in from the top right (isn't there a green shed 1/2 way down from the gate?) and the gate and perhaps a bit of the hotel (got a feeling it's mostly hidden by trees?) would probably have activated my memory!

Actually, Coldingham did seem slightly similar to a spot I surfed in Northern California a couple of years ago, sort of but not really! The main difference is that the California beach had a wide burn to the left of the road heading down to the sea, signs telling you to stay away from the seals (or was it sealions), oh and the beach was infinitely longer! I guess the biggest similarity was that each time there were only 2 kayaks and 2 boards in :)

JIM

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Post by tpage » Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:12 pm

Ah Douglas, Quite near "Meikle Poo Craig" then?- Tony

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Meikle Poo Craig

Post by Bothy Ben » Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:07 pm

Tony P>Meikle Poo Craig...

Ah ken it weel. Mony a time a've bin doon wind and a mingin, clarty guff blaws ower the watter frae thae reidochie, broon craigs wi the great piles o toalies at thair feet. Auld red sandstane? Ma bahoochie!

Bothie Ben.

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St Abbs map

Post by Guest » Fri Dec 17, 2004 4:48 pm

There is a really useful large scale map of St Abbs Head in this pdf file also info on carparking and launching in St Abbs harbour.

http://www.marine-reserve.co.uk/shared/ ... bsinfo.pdf

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Scottish Sea Kayaking Photo Gallery update

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:20 pm

The full picture set with 55 hi res images of the outstandingSt Abbs area can be seen at the Scottish Sea Kayaking Photo Gallery.

Douglas :o)

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