Wednesday, July 15, 2015

No restriction on draft at Portavadie Marina.

 From Asgog Bay, Mike and I took a little detour...

 ...round the island of Sgat Mor and its little lighthouse before turning north into the mouth of Loch Fyne, the biggest sea loch in Britain,...

 ...towards Portavadie Marina where we had...

 ...booked lunch for 12:30. The marina is the largest man made hole in the World. It was made to construct giant...

...concrete oil rigs even bigger than this one at nearby Ardyne, which I photographed when it was near complete in 1977.

 The huge dock cost £14 million to excavate in the late '70s but by the time it was completed the industry had moved on to cheaper steel rigs. Portavadie never built a single rig! For a while it was used by a fish farm but it has been home to the excellent Portavadie Marina for quite a few years now. The hole is so deep that the marina proudly boast "There is no restriction on draft"

We paddled to the head of the marina and there we met David and Phil. We had originally planned a trip to Islay or Tiree but last minute commitments meant David and Phil could only manage 2 days and one night. Mike and I then decided to go for a more local paddle so that David and Phil could join us.

Where better to meet than the Portavadie Marina restaurant and bar? No restriction on draft? We can test that. We'll start with four pints of Guinness please.

We decided to go for a two course dinner and I started with the Taste of “Argyll Smokery” seafood and shellfish, pickled vegetables, watercress and wasabi cream. Service was excellent, so what a great second luncheon, highly recommended.Yes, sea kayaking can be a most arduous activity when one can be exposed to great hardships.

Some considerable time passed before we set off once more on our sea kayaking exploration of Argyll's secret coast.


  1. Douglas, first time I noticed your GoPro mount. Just wondering how you control the operation? Are you using the GoPro App? If so, how do you assure the smartphone is kept dry?

    I've tried a sealable sandwich bag but find the screen hard to see in sunshine then.

    Tony :-)

    1. Hi Tony I tried the GoPro App with my iPhone 5 in an Aquapac soft waterproof case but I could not read it. I am using the GoPro wifi remote control.If you switch the GoPro camera wifi on before setting off, it does not use too much power (but I have an extra battery back) The mistake I made at first was just pausing the camera with the remote and not switching it off. That burns battery very quickly. The wifi remote has a small screen same as the the camera so you can see what is happening. I have found you need to leave a short pause after stopping recording then switching off as the camera sometimes locks up. It took me a while to get the hang of it. Mostly I just use it to record a still frame every 0.5 second as I can't be bothered editing video. Douglas :o)

  2. Glad to see that the standard of "roughing it" is being kept up Douglas!


    1. Ian you would have loved to have seen how far we carried the kayaks up the ramp at the marina!

      Douglas :o)