Monday, May 25, 2015

Perfect Auchmithie: Paddling back...inside the planet.

Back in bonnie Scotland now, we had a weather window of opportunity - rare, these past weeks, and it beckoned. It really beckoned. If the Saturday forecast conditions held, it would be perfect. It was.

The venue: the North Sea. Launch spot: the tiny, former fishing village of Auchmithie, perched on the red, sandstone cliffs, north of Arbroath. The gathering: seven smiling sea kayakers...hungry for some adventure. 

It became a "banquet" of treats, a perfect day on the water: sunshine, warm air temperature, sea birds, deep and dark caverns and caves, dramatic photographic opportunities, stunning geological features, excellent company...and a sea state that transitioned from benign to "energetic".

Coming from the Kingdom of Fife, Ayrshire, Glasgow, and Aberdeenshire, Ian, Douglas, Mike, Maurice, and Phil and Joan and myself met at the old harbour, beneath the cliffs at Auchmithie, for a 1030 hrs launch. It was great to see Ian, Mike, and Douglas again - we'd paddled here together a month and a half ago. And it was a real pleasure to meet Maurice and Phil, two more passionate sea kayakers. It was a good company, indeed.

The coast along here is well seasoned with sea caves and caverns. It is not often possible to paddle into them. This day, however, there was an opportunity on the southbound leg, on the northbound return leg, not so much. Douglas has posted an excellent narrative on the day here. Ian has also posted on Mountain and Sea Scotland - we're "TriVision" on this one! :)

Here's just a small taste...

Paddling "inside the planet" can be like being inside a massive, medieval cathedral, it is "awe"some. Hearts and minds the silence.

A "light" at the end of this cave, leads to the Gaylet Pot, a massive blow hole, in the middle of a farmer's field.

There is a "secret beach", 150m inland...few vessels have ever landed there. How could they? Those that did, were probably pirates!

We paddled back out to sea, and south along the coast.

It was time to stretch legs...

and examine the marvellous geological formations, formed south of the equator...they astonish the imagination.

Oceanside dining doesn't get much line ups, no reservations needed, fine food and beverage...

It was time for a formal group photo...the four men in mango (Mike, Douglas, myself, Ian), Maurice in red, and Phil in yellow. Photo taken by the "lady in red". ;) We were one pretty happy paddling family.

The narrow boats rested...they would work hard on the return trip.

Launching again, we passed the "Needle's E'e".

There was some excitement and drama to follow...but first, a stop for ice cream. 

Yes, ice cream. ;)


  1. Looks like an awesome day of exploring! I know someone who would have loved to have been there checking out all the caves. Paddling on the North Sea and icecream! Well it couldn't get much better.

  2. And I know someone that I would have loved to have shared that day with us too. ;) Thank you, was definitely your kind of day. Warmest wishes, D. coco

  3. What a super day (again) D & J; thank you both so much for opening our eyes to the Angus coast....

    .... and Hi to you L, when next you come to Scotland, we must get you in a kayak on this stunning coast :o)

    Warm wishes

    1. Thank you, Ian, for your kind words. I cannot begin to tell you the number of things (and places) you have opened our eyes to since coming to Scotland! Warm wishes to you and Linda.
      And yes, we must certainly get our good friend L back here...and into a kayak. Cheers all! D and J.

  4. Wonderful idea Ian but I'm afraid my kayaking skill level is only for flat calm water and I'm not sure you have any of that over there. ;). I do enjoy seeing it all though, through the beautiful pictures you and Duncan post on your blogs. Maybe someday...
    Blessings, L

    1. Skill levels improve quickly, L. ;) We'll make this happen! Warm wishes. D.