Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As if in anticipation of the sun leaving the day.

The SE wind gave us welcome assistance as we made our way north towards the Heads of Ayr.

 As the sun began to sink slowly and steadily below a layer of low cloud...

 ...we were bathed in the most beautiful warm light.

For a moment time seemed to stand still and even the calls of the sea birds died away... if in anticipation of the sun leaving the day.

After sunset, a chill wind from the SE sprang up and whisked us on, towards the twinkling lights of Ayr.
Photo Philip Toman.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Moonrise over the Heads of Ayr.

 As the sun began to set, an offshore breeze picked up and...

...pushed us on towards the Heads of Ayr.

We revelled in the magic of the moment... the sundowner gathered strength,...

 ...the smells of the land filled our nostrils and...

...the Moon rose over the Heads of Ayr.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The tumbling waters of Drumbane.

 The wind dropped before we got to...

...the ancient castle of Dunure. If the weather had been bad we would have stopped at the pub but... was such a nice day that we continued north to Drumbane and a little bay with a hidden secret.

 A delightful burn tumbles out of a little glen high above the beach.

Its waters flashed and sparkled as they rushed headlong...

...over the rocks and onto the beach...

 ...where they slowed into a lovely pool...

...before spilling over a lip into the sea beyond.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

We could have paddled south all day...

The coastline south of Dunure consists of a series of rocky dykes projecting from a raised beach above which an old cliff line has a series of dry sea caves at its base.

Phil and I were enjoying running before the north wind and...

the last of the ebb tide, which were speeding us past...

...the gull colony on the rocks north of Croy.

We could have paddled on south all day but it was now time to turn our backs to the November sun, drop our sails and face the north wind...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Making the most of the late and fleeting Scottish summer!

 When we left Dunure harbour we still had an ebb tide and...

 ...a fair wind to continue south a little longer.

 A flash of paddles on the horizon announced the arrival of another party of kayakers.

It was Julie with 2 friends. We had met her with her husband Tom in these waters just two days before. Everyone was making the most of the late and fleeting Scottish summer!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dunure harbour.

The ruined walls of Dunure Castle announce our arrival... the fishing village of Dunure.

We kept the sails up... we entered the shelter of...

...of the little harbour for a well deserved break and luncheon in the sun.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

FPV Minna slowly emerged from the fog like a mini Bismark

From Bracken Bay we followed a line of cliffs towards the south and the fishing village of Dunure.

Ailsa Craig slowly rose over the reefs ahead as we were carried south by fair wind and tide.

The sea fog round the coast of Arran and Holy Island slowly lifted...

...revealing many of fishing boats on the horizon including FV Atlas and FV Deliverance. (Photo Philip Toman.)
I hope they were not exceeding their quotas because the fishery protection vessel FPV Minna slowly emerged out of a bank of fog like a mini Bismark. Her grey camouflage  paintwork and general appearance gave her a threatening appearance out of all proportion to her size. I later noticed that she had not been transmitting her position on AIS... It is just as well she relies on stealth as, apparently, she is slower than many fishing boats!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A day at the beach (in November).

Once we had cleared the Heads of Ayr, we turned our bows east...

...towards Bracken Bay, which nestles below the cliffs.

 At certain states of the tide there is soft sand to land on but even so the beach is well studded with rocks.

We soon unpacked our first luncheon and made our way to the top of thje beach where an old tree trunk makes a perfect place to sit...

...and admire the view over the Firth of Clyde to Holy Island and Arran.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scottish summers are like swallows

Scottish summers are like swallows, you don't see one for ages then along come two sunny days at once. Even so, it was rather unexpected when summer finally arrived, in early November. A couple of days after our last enjoyable trip to the Ayrshire coast, Phil and I returned and launched at Seafield, Ayr. Although the coast round about was in full sun, thik banks of sea fog hid much of the land to the north and to the west only the tops of the Arran mountains were visible above a temperature inversion.

We were heading south once more, towards the...

 ...Heads of Ayr.

 As we approached the headland...

 ...we entered the deep shade of the cliffs. Photo by Phil Toman.

 After a while, it was pleasant to feel the warmth of the sun... we slowly emerged from the long cold shadow cast by the high headland.