Sunday, January 07, 2007

Auld Ayr

Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonie lasses.
-Tam o' Shanter. Robert Burns

Not very good photos today. The weather in the West of Scotland remains atrocious. David and I took the Aleut double out for a short afternoon paddle of 12km. We launched at Seafield at the south of Ayr beach and taking advantage of the spring tide paddled up the River Doon to the weir. We then paddled up the Ayr esplanade (the clapotis was vicious) to the mouth of the Ayr and paddled up to its weir. Negotiating the harbour mouth was a bit tricky what with the spring ebb holding up the swell entering from the Firth of Clyde.

The Auld Brig o' Ayr was built in 1232. It has outlasted several "New Brigs". In 1786 a new brig was constructed. Burns wrote a poem: "The Brigs of Ayr". In it, the Auld Brig prophesies to the New: "I'll be a brig when you're a shapeless cairn". TheNew Brig collapsed in 1877.


  1. Douglas - curious, what's the water temperature these days?

  2. Hello Alison, because of the Gulf Stream, it should still be about 9 degrees C in open water off the west of Scotland. It tends to be less in the sea lochs. Usually the air temperature is colder than the water so you can warm your hands by putting them in the water, not yesterday though! Ayr has two large rivers at either end of the beach and they were both in spate. River water is always cold and even though we were paddling in the sea, it was cold brown river water.

    We both had dry suits and 4th element Xerotherm Arctic under suits which are like a double layer of fleece.

  3. brave souls, I heard the Doon toxicity can melt fibreglass. . .

  4. Claire, a good point, the Doon is polluted with human sewage and also with farm run off in the spring after farmers spread cow slurry on the fields. However, it was OK on Sunday unlike the Kyles of Bute where there were big sewage slicks where the two tidal streams meet at the north of Bute. At least Ayr now disposes of its sewage properly. In 1985 I became very ill after windsurfing at Seafield and getting a Coxacki B4 viral myocarditis from polluted water. Not pleasant.