Friday, November 20, 2015

The Little Ross "tide race" was like a stroll in the park!

After our superb luncheon it was time to return to the bank of the Dee where the ebb tide was already running. We were not the only ones heading for the sea. B449, FV Mytilus from Belfast had already embarked from Kirkcudbright quay.

Once on the water it was apparent that the morning's wind (which we had battled against) had dropped... we were going its way. However, we did have tidal assistance and it was not too long until we...

 ...passed St Mary's Isle and caught sight of...

 ...Little Ross Island again.

 The weather was really quite exceptional for October in Scotland.

 The Dundrennan Range was still firing so we kept well over to the west shore of the bay.

 Ian called the Range boat the MV Gallovidian III on the VHF to confirm our route.

In the Solway bays trees often descend right to the shore giving the impression that you are paddling in...

 ...a pond in a park but appearances can be deceptive as the open sea and 4 knot tides...

 ...are just round the corner.

As we approached the mouth of Kirkcudbright Bay the wind picked up again but not one of the Robin Rigg wind turbines was turning. I wonder why...?

We entered The Sound at 8km/hr without paddling but there was no sign of any tidal action and so we decided to stop...

 ...on a rare pebbled beach opposite Little Ross for a short break. Due to the cliffs and reefs we would not be stopping again until we reached Castle Haven Bay some 20km from Kirkcudbright.

Because the north wind was with the ebb tide, the water in The Sound was flat as a pancake. This was a bit of a pity because...

...normally the ebb runs against the prevailing SW wind which stirs things up rather nicely like on this occasion...

...with Tony a couple of years before.

As it was, there was only the slightest riffle on the water as we cleared Fox Craig and left the sheltered waters of Kirkcudbright Bay for the open waters off the Solway coast.


  1. Super images Douglas - none of mine from this part of the trip were any good at all :o(

    1. Thank you Ian, there was a lot of lens flare from the sun. What a great trip we had. I am enjoying reliving it in kayaking stereovision in this inclement November weather. :)

  2. Theres a really annoying little Englishman on little ross that thinks he can make you leave, that your right to travel to and stay is nothing but his to say it doesn't mean a thing.

    Its lovely here this evening! Going swimming tommorow. The sound can be a little dicey in 11mph winds behind you and waves across in an open canoe. And no i won't and can't go back across how dare you tell me i must leave!!!

    1. Hello Anon, the gentleman you met will most likely be the owner, who is a London architect. He uses the island as a family holiday home. Little Ross Island is of course under the jurisdiction of Scottish Law and so the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 has applied to Little Ross Island for many years before the current owner bought it. You you do have the right to responsible access, as long as you follow the guidelines of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This includes the right to wild camp in small numbers and only for two or three nights in any one place. If you encounter an access problem in Dumfries and Galloway you can contact the Countryside Development Officer Bryan Scott: I hope you enjoyed your stay, swim and camp on Little Ross :)

  3. I should add that the owner of Little Ross Island now lives in Kirkcudbright with his family. His wife runs a local business and his children attend local schools. I guess that makes them Scottish :)