Friday, February 17, 2012

Bums on seats round Bennane Head.

We now set off exploring...

...the wonderful coastline...

 ...that leads to Bennane Head.

Despite the shiny newness and lightweight construction of his Taran...

 ...Jim got stuck in as the swells pushed us on through...

 ...the narrowest of gaps...

...on our way to the raised beach rock platform at the foot of the Head. 

Although we rounded the Head with two hours of the flood left to run, it was flat as a pancake because of the lack of wind. It can be a very different place on the ebb tide against a SW wind (see below).

We met two SUP boarders coming the other way, who heading out to explore the Head. Chris Saunders (L) is a well known west coast kayaker and obviously enjoys this new form of paddlesport. Jim and I were not so sure. We kept our bums firmly (out of sight) on our seats.

On other occasions it is less easy to keep your bum on your seat as the waves steepen into a roller-coaster as you near the Head.

The tides round Bennane Head are rather interesting. As the flood rushes up the Firth of Clyde, through the North Channel, you might expect it to flow north all the way up the Ayrshire coast. However, it hits Bennane head and splits, so south of the Head the flood is south going!

On the ebb the two streams reverse and travelling at 2.5 knots, they collide off the Head.  This disturbed water can get even rougher against a SW wind.

For kayakers, unless you hit the Head at slack water, you will need to paddle against the tide on one side of the Head or the other.

Bennane Head tidal streams:

South of Bennane Head to Finnarts point
SSW going +0425 HW Greenock 
NNE going -0140 HW Greenock 

North of Bennane Head to Lendalfoot
NNE going +0425 HW Greenock
SSW going -0140 HW Greenock