Saturday, February 05, 2011

Sea kayaking round Morvern

A three day, 114km paddle round the Morvern peninsula via Loch Linnhe, the Sound of Mull and Loch Sunart.

Sunset in Loch Drumbuie, an offshoot of Loch Sunart.


Lynn of Morvern/Loch Linnhe
NE flood -0545 HW Oban ((+0110 HW Dover)
SW ebb +0025 Oban (-0505 HW Dover)

There are some peculiarities in the tides here.

A narrow stream of the flood tide entering the Lynn of Morvern hits the Morvern coast and then runs NE to Camas Chronaig where it continues to a point about 1.5km NW of Sgeir nam Tom. This stream runs at about 2.5 knots but elsewhere in the Lynn, the flood runs about one knot..

In the Lynn of Morvern, for the first 3-4 hours of a spring ebb, a SE going stream runs at about 4 knots (with a line of overfalls) from about 220m E off Rubha a'Mothair on the Morvern coast NM759411 to about 1100m NW of the SW tip of Bernera NM778392. Elsewhere in the Lynn the ebb runs about one knot.

Sound of Mull.
The flood tide goes NW and the ebb tide goes SE through the Sound.
At the NW end the flood runs for 7.5 hours and the ebb for 5 hours.
At the SW end the flood runs for 5.25 hours and the ebb runs for  7.25 hours.
The streams turn later and are stronger at the SE end.
Streams by the shores of the Sound turn 30mins earlier than in mid channel.

Throughout the Sound, by the shore,  the SE going ebb starts at approximately -0045 HW Oban (+0615 HW Dover)

The  NW going flood starts by the shore as follows working from NW to SE down the Sound:
Off Rubha nan Gall                 +0400 HW Oban (-0130 HW Dover)
Off Rubh' an t-Sean Chaisteil  +0500 HW Oban (-0030 HW Dover)
Opposite Eilean Glasa            +0600 HW Oban (+0030 HW Dover)
Off Rubha an Ridire               -0600 HW Oban (+0055 HW Dover)

At the SE of the Sound spring rates run up to 2 knots, elsewhere rates are about 1 knot with a bit more round headlands.

Loch AlineIn the entrance:
The in going flood -0525 HW Oban (+0135 HW Dover) 2.5 knots at springs.
The outgoing ebb +0040 HW Oban (-0450 HW Dover) 2.5 knots at springs

Loch Sunart
At the mouth of Loch Sunart the tide rotates through 360 degrees clockwise over 12.5 hours at generally less than one knot.
Within the loch the ingoing flood starts at -0500 HW Oban (+0200 HW Dover).
The outgoing ebb starts at +0130 HW Oban (-0400 HW Dover)
Spring rate is one knot except north of Carna and the entrances to Loch Teacuis 2.5 knots. At Laudale narrows the ingoing spring rate is 3 knots and the outgoing rate is 3.5 knots.

Day one.
Seakayakers, gypsies and bothy dwellers on Morvern.
A missed luncheon after a detour to Kingairloch?
The Boathouse, Kingairloch, Morvern
Between a rock and a hard place at Glensanda.
A bed of bluebells in the Sound of Mull.

Day two.
Trouble in the Isles
Taking the Sound of Mull to the Next World.
Mines a bacon butty in Lochaline!
A series of juxtapositions in the Sound of Mull.
Tobermory, what's the story?
Sardines and showers in Tobermory.
A barren point and fateful decision.
A banquet in Loch Drumbuie!

Day three.
Misty Morven morning.
Three jewels of Loch Sunart: Oronsay, Loch Teacuis and a buried diamond!
A post prandial doze under the ancient oak woods of Ardnamurchan.
Umbrellas in a sunny Loch Sunart.
All the essential sea kayaking elements round Morvern.



  1. Hi Douglas,

    Great trip report again! This is a trip I've fancied for a while. I've done most of the sections and it's on my hit list to complete this summer. Since I'll probably be solo I would probably base at Strontian and portage with a trolley over to Linnhe. An unusual peninsula in that it's connected to Ardgour by a glen rather than high ground - an ancient island to circumnavigate!

    Kind regards


  2. Douglas,
    it is such a pleasure to come back to your blog and read about your sea kayaking trips. But what fascinates me the most are those gorgeous pictures that you publish within your posts.
    I am so glad I came across your blog the other day and you sure have gained another regular reader in me.
    Best Regards

  3. Hello Ian, I hope you are having a good voyage.

    Morvern was a really great trip, full of interest and contrasts. I like portages but I am not sure about that one, the glen is lower than the surrounding mountains but still rises to 250m!

    You could run a shuttle by using the Sheil Buses service that leaves Strontian for Inversanda (Fort william) at 0930 and leaves Inversanda for Strontian (Kilchoan) about 1400. The bus takes about 15 minutes!

    Rick thank you! It is not so much the photos, more the Scottish scenery!