Sunday, July 20, 2014

Big boats and wee boats, all headed for Ailsa Craig!

It was an overcast morning when Ian and I met at Lendalfoot on the Ayrshire coast for a trip out to Ailsa Craig. It was actually my third trip of the year but Ian had missed the last trip so any excuse as they say. We were not the only ones interested in the Craig. The cruise liner MV Discovery beat us too it despite Ian's 04:30 start from Aberdeenshire!

A telephoto lens makes Ailsa Craig appear tantalisingly close but it is...

...14.2km from Lendalfoot. We are not fast paddlers and normally allow 2hours 45minutes for the crossing.  The cloud of the early morning soon...

...burned off and it proved to be a hot crossing.

Slowly, slowly Ailsa Craig spreads over...

 ...the western horizon and detail such as...

...the castle and the lighthouse.

A roar broke the peace of the morning which had only been disturbed by the dripping of our paddles. It was...

...the high speed ferry en route from Troon to Larne.

The best place to land is the spit of granite rubble which extends to the east of the Craig. The smallest boulders are on the north of the spit but in early season grey seals haul out here and it is best to land on the SE of the spit.

As we approached we could see no seals and so we decided to land on the north of the spit just as...

MV Glorious the tour boat from Girvan was arriving.

Wuite a bit of tide runs past the spit and we were so taken by the scenery that we rather overshot the spit on our final approach.

We delayed a little to allow the wash from the high speed ferry to subside, you can see how high up the beach  the waves reached.

We hauled the up to a ledge on the storm beach but not before Ian's kayak escaped and shot down the steep beach into the see. Ian has better knees than I and he leapt after it catching it just before it glided out of reach.

We enjoyed our lunch in the sun as the passengers on the tour explored the lighthouse area and the crew of Glorious had their tea.

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