Friday, 15 August 2014

Inverness to Noss Head

Started from Rosemarkie on Saturday the 2nd of August with the intention of paddling from Inverness to Oban. Arrived in Rosemarkie with the intention of camping overnight and starting paddling on the Sunday but the forecast for Sunday was not great. The weather was not too bad on the Saturday so I decided to start my trip there and then. I unloaded the kayak and packed her up and waved my brother goodbye and set off in a good swell and a stiff breeze.
looking back to Tarbat Ness

Landed a few hours later just north of Cromarty Bay. There are not many places to land along this coast so be prepared for a committed paddle. The coast here is beautiful.

Every paddle I go on I take a bottle of whisky with me and toast my Mother and Father every beach I land on to say thanks for everything. Soppy I know but without their support I would never have seen such beauty.

End of day one 

Looking south back to Cromarty. 

Day two was a fantastic day with a very hot sun. I stopped off here at Balintore and met George the owner of the pub The Comm. George refilled my water bottles and gave me a dram and we sat and chatted for awhile. The generosity that you meet on a trip like this is truly fantastic. I recommend a visit to The Comm in Balintore and say hi to George for me.

The Comm pub in Balintore.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Noss Head

Made great time and landed in a beautiful cove just round the head. Only to find the stress fracture just behind the seat of the kayak had got worse!!! 

I had repaired this three times and it was getting worse. Both rear hatches were full of water everytime I got off the water. 

 I didn't fancy facing the pentland firth in that vulnerable state. My fear is the fracture giving way in a heavy sea at the wrong time. So I have decided to call it a day and come back next year and finish the trip. Thanks for all your support and many thanks to the amazing people I have met along the way. Thanks x

This is the cove I landed in just round from the Noss Head lighthouse. Beautiful. I could see John O Groats from here and spent a long time debating with myself whether to call it a day or carry on and risk the kayak failing at the wrong time. After some time and alot of swearing I decided to call it a day and phoned my long suffering brother to ask if he could come pick me up. I will not repeat what he said but you can guess just what he said!!!! He cancelled a long planned fishing trip to Mull to come pick me up. Thanks Davie for always being there when I need you mate.

my last night camped at Noss Head.

Always love pictures of sunsets. I was sitting on the beach with a wee dram and with a sad heart watched the sunset on the trip. Planning the next year with an added vigor. I will finish this lol. someday.

Slangevar (cheers "good health") to you all for your support. 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Arrived in Dunbeath after a fantastic days paddle through some of the most amazing coastline I have ever seen. This is an amazing place to visit. I will be back. The geology along this coast is beautiful with the most incredible optical illusion of paddling downhill on the sea!!!! The rock strata is layered at and angle the gives the impression of paddling downhill when going from north to south. The sea arch of An Dunn is beautiful I paddled through this 3 times

An Dunn 

After I had repaired the kayak again for the second time I found the nearest pub The Bay Owl. This is a wee pub restaurant at the top of the hill on the way out of Dunbeath. The food is excellent and I highly recommend the bay burger with cheese and bacon lol. I was made to feel very welcome straight away by Trevor and Irene the owners of the pub and not to forget Ron who was on holiday.

Second day Dunbeath.
Took a day off today at Dunbeath. Woke up to heavy rain fog and a strong swell so decided to sit it out today. went over my charts and checked the weather forecast for tomorrow. forecast is better and I should get back on the water.

Went back up to the Pub to watch the debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling oh and to have another bay burger lol. After one or two pints I went back to my tent and sat outside watching the moon come out over the bay with a wee whisky. Met Richard out walking his dogs, two beautiful collies Katie and Robbie and we chatted for awhile about how beautiful Dunbeath bay is. We went to his campervan then shared a beer and a whisky and chatted about what brought us to Dunbeath. A very interesting man that was heading home to Orkney with a scooter for his daughter. Made me think about my trip and realised that it is not the journey that makes the trip, its the amazing people you meet along the way that makes it.

 Dunbeath Castle just south of the village of Dunbeath.

 Camped at the harbour. Repaired the stress fracture on the underside of the kayak again .Gelcoated the outside and fiberglassed the inside to try and strengthen the fracture.

 Dunbeath harbour after a long day paddling in and out of all the caves and Geo's. Landed at the slip and pulled the kayak up on the trolly with a flat tyre!!!!! heavy going as the slip is steep. got there in the end after some heavy pulling. set up camp on a bit of grass at the end of the harbour. both rear hatches were full of water due to the stress fracture. Pulled out everything and laid it out to dry in the sun.