Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The great Gargoyle, the tides and eddies of the Mull of Kintyre

The tide swept us round the rocks below the Mull of Kintyre lighthouse at 12km/hour. There was a difference in water level on either side of this rock so definitely no turning back!

Looking back we could just make out the foghorn and lighthouse above the Dug's Lugs rock. It was a surreal and spooky voyage with strange rocks looming out of the mist at us.

Then the Great Gargoyle of the Mull of Kintyre reared up above us. Seafarers are a superstitious lot and our minds were working overtime thinking of all the lost souls that had come to grief in this treacherous spot.

The stalwarts of the DCKC disappeared over the horizon leaving Tony and I to grapple with the demons of the Fog!

We decided to flee out into the safety of tidal race just as the mist began to lift..

We paddled out 500m into the race. We were off the Mull 3 hours after the inshore tide had started to flow SE. As we left the waters close under the rocks, we hit a counter eddy flowing NW. This was also flowing at 12 km/hour. We then ventured further out and hit another SE stream also flowing at 12km/hr at 400 to 500m offshore. The eddy fences were razor sharp. God knows what kind of a maelstrom this would be like on a windy day. Sensible kayakers would leap right into the arms of the Gargoyle!