Sunday, 25 August 2013

For whom the Bell tolls.

The Bell Rock lies 11 miles from Arbroath and 12 from Fife Ness out in the North Sea, on it sits the Bell Rock Light the first lighthouse built by George Stevenson. As the rock is under water for most of the day it took them two years just to lay the first two courses of stones. The fact that the light still stands unchanged is testament to the stonemason that worked on it's construction. 
 To reach the rock we set off from Fife Ness at 09.00 and paddled on a bearing for three hours, unfortunately it was very misty out at the rock. We very nearly mist it, when we were about a mile and a half away I got just a brief glimpse of the light through the mist just long enough to get a bearing. We'd drifted about a mile off our line on the tide. As we paddled towards the rock we could see nothing until about 500 yards out just for a moment we could make out the rocks at the base of the lighthouse. The sound of breaking waves and seals howling guided us on. Not until 100 yards out did the light come into view. We landed at 12.00

The stonework is all dovetailed together.
Leaving the rock and the mist finally starts to lift.

We'd chosen Fife Ness to start from because we'd get more tidal assistance on the way out. On the way back we still had a push from the tide but the flood isn't as strong as the ebb here so it took an extra 45 minutes to get home.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Naughty Step.

Mike and Bev wanted to do the Skye ridge so I said I'd lead it for them. We went up last Sunday but while the rest of Scotland and England basked in glorious sunshine on Skye it pored down and blew a hoolie.
 Still we did have a nice walk from Elgol around the coast of Loch Scavaig to the "Bad Step" which turned out to be more of just a bit naughty step.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Three Brethren, Ringdoo Point, Manxman's Rock?

Three Brethren, Ringdoo Point, and Manxman's Rock. Just some of the intriguing names to be found around the coast of the Solway Firth, what's the story behind the names? I haven't posted about kayaking for sometime so here's some photo's from last weekend. We paddled from Ardwall Isle to Brighouse Bay, not a huge distance but lots and lots of rockhopping along the way, all great fun. Things kicked up just a little bit on the return leg which made for a fun splashy ride.  

 The day before was a bit blowy for some in the group so we had a day on Loch Ken again interesting in it's own way.
 There's a Red Kite in this shot somewhere, honestly.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Three days in the wilderness.

It's been a very long time since I've been backpacking, so long I can't remember when I last went. Seems I only go wild camping from the kayak these days. When a friend put out an email asking if anyone wanted to join her on a trip to Ben Alder I thought "why not". We had three glorious days hot, sunny and no midges, what more could we have asked for.   

I really enjoyed myself and can't think why I've stopped doing it. Trouble is kayaking, skiing, climbing and backpacking there's just so much to do and so little time.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Still touring.

With all the snow around I've been out on the planks most weekends for a while now. here's some photo's from Sgor Gaoith a few weeks ago. I was out yesterday on Ben Macdui but as is often the case in a white-out.

 Dealing with skins in a gale isn't as simple as is made out in the instructions.
 Walking back to the car after a good day.

Over the last few year I've spent more time on the water than in the mountains, all of a sudden and for no particular reason I seem to have renewed my love of the hills.

Saturday, 9 February 2013


I've not much work on at the moment so I decided to have a day on piste for a change. Skiing in Scotland can all too often be a bit like this Samivel cartoon, yesterday it wasn't quite so bad and there was even some nice soft snow (almost power) in places.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Ski touring Scottish style.

Some photo's from a couple of weeks ago, I was out on Cairngorm with the Edinburgh ski tour club, the weather was a little wild.

Conditions in the mountains are said to have been good this weekend but my cars off the road, very frustrating. 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Where's all the snow gone?

After our fantastic weekend earlier in the month I had high hope for the New Year. It Seems that the Scottish winter gods had other ideas. But I had four good days walking, mostly in the rain.