Thursday, March 01, 2007

Seeing the West coast in a new light.

I have sailed extensively throughout the west coast of Scotland since 1959. This has been in a variety of dinghies and yachts such as a Wayfarer up to a 38 foot mono hull. I thought of those days last Sunday as I watched this yacht sailing right down the middle of the Sound of Bute, between Bute and Arran. I then realised that I had seen much more of the west coast in 4 years sea kayaking than I had in over 40 years sailing. Just looking at the yacht, I realised they had missed exploring the skerries, seeing the golden eagle, finding the rhyolite pebble and bat and ball and exploring for the Queen's glass covered tomb (more of which later). Not only that did you know that decent antifouling costs £90 per 2.5l tin and you need several tins?!


  1. That's what is attractive about sea-kayaking - intimately close to what you have come to see and not prohibitively expensive.
    Your great photos with an interesting narrative are all the better for the intimacy with nature and the possibility of a sea level view.

  2. Thank you George, I wonder if there are any other reformed yachties kayaking out there?

  3. Yes, there are! Me, for one. I still love to sail, but agree one experiences so much more from a kayak's vantage point.

    Your reference to the Warfarer brought to mind some incredible small boat ventures out of Scotland in these little boats, I believe there have been voyages to both Iceland and Norway. Incredible!

  4. Hello Michael, I also continue to sail (and windsurf). We still have our Wayfarer dinghy but it is just kept on the Solway now. We used to trail it up the West Coast and launch in all sorts of interesting places. Indeed, my recent paddling trip from Loch Sunart to Tobermory on Mull was in the wake of a trip with my Dad in the Wayfarer about 25 years ago. We have had it since 1971 and fortunately it is GRP and requires little maintenace. Frank and Margaret Dye were the couple who made those amazing crossings.


  5. Well I sail with a kakay on deck. I use the boat as a mother ship to get to my next kayak adventure and it carries a lot more food & drink than a sea kayak! Best of both worlds. Thanks for a fantastic presentation at the SCA show in Perth today. Despite the poor lighting it was still a magical tour around the West coast and an inspiration to all paddlers. You seemed to have made the most of an awful summer and shown the beauty of this fabulous country even under a blackened sky. All the best

  6. As a recent convert to seakayaking it is much more intimate than 'big boat' sailing...
    Disappointing at Perth that your presentation was in the main hall with all the background noise, bright lights and projector with a dodgy contrast. (never mind that the PA system also cut into your narrative!)
    You should have been given a smaller hall/room.
    SCA take note!
    Your pictures are superb and capture the essence of kayaking around our varied coastline, a real inspiration to get out and explore.

  7. Hello Douglas, there is another reformed yachtie down in Switzerland. Cruising the shores of our lakes in a Nordkapp LV and enjoying this fantastic new world. My MUSTO SKIFF is boring itself ashore. And sailing got a mighty rival.
    I am looking forward to visit the english coast by seakayak the next years.
    By the way, it's a Nordkapp LV thanks to your report this January. Thanks for that, it's an amazing kayak.
    All the best.

  8. Hello Anonymous 1 and 2! Thanks for dropping by. These inflatable kayaks would be great to take along on a yacht.

    Thank you for your comments about my talk at the Perth show. I was really disappointed at the speaker facilities. The auditorium was completely unsuitable and the projector was an old burned out one that had no colour or contrast adjustment left. I arrived an hour before the show began to try and tune the projector and it was a waste of time. I do hope this does not sound like a bad workman blaming his tools!

    Apparently the talk got some favourable feedback and the SCA have asked if I would do another next year. I have said I would only consider it if there was a quiet dark room and if I could hire my own projector.

    Andreas it is good to hear from you. I am really glad you like the Nordkapp LV. I am afraid to say I have never paddled the English coastline! However, after watching "Coast" on BBC I know there is a great deal of fantastic paddling there. Enjoy your visit. :o)

  9. Hi from Tasmania. You might be interested in this sea kayak sailing clip. It is a bit old now and we have upgraded our sails and sea kayaks since then.