Monday, December 07, 2009
A day trip to Arran, a 30.7km paddle from Portencross and return by the Brodick/Ardrossan ferry. November 2009.
The approach to Glen Sannox on Arran from the Isle of Bute.
Dawn till dusk
A new dawn for Portencross castle
Queuing up the Clyde!
Crossing the bows of Dauntless
Approach to Sannox
Paddling under a cloud
A glimpse of winter sun
End of a winter's day on Arran
And then our boat came in, without chips!
We had landed on a little sandy beach right beside the ferry terminal at Brodick. We had not long to wait until the MV Caledonian Isles arrived from Ardrossan. One of the great pleasures of sea kayaking in Scotland is being able to make use of the ferries that serve the islands or cross the long sea lochs. We frequently use them instead of a car shuttle and they open up a number of longer routes to paddle on a short winter day.
Calmac has two advantages as a ferry company. First of all they carry sea kayaks for free. Secondly, they serve an excellent chicken curry. My usual request is for curry with half rice and half chips. This simple request is usually met but not on this occasion. I was told it would need to be all rice or all chips but not both!
Half chips apart, we had enjoyed a really fabulous winter day's paddle to Arran. We left a car at Ardrossan at 8am, shuttled up to Portencross where we left the other cars and were on the water by 0905. We landed at Brodick at 1530 after 31km and had plenty of time for the 1640 ferry home. The vista of the Glen Sannox hills on the approach from Bute must be one of the best sea kayaking views in Scotland. We had it to ourselves, you should give it a try!