Monday, 27 April 2015

Roof of Britain expedition with Coastal Spirit Sea Kayaking

Day 7, 24th April, Scourie to Durness around Cape Wrath. 42k

We had a weather window, but the tide times were not ideal. It was going to be an early start! Worse still we faced a 200m boat carry to the sea. So alarms were set for 02.30 (ouch). Boats were packed as far as possible the night before. We wanted to be on the water as soon as the light would let us launch through the surf. 04.30 was our best estimate which would let us be at Cape Wrath at 08.00 at slack water. In the end we were ready and waiting in the cold pre-dawn light in the mist. We were paddling at 04.40, the earliest most of us have been on the water!

Mist wrapped the gannet cliffs as we paddled northward. Spooky! We worked hard against the tide and a light headwind. Loud whoops were heard from Roger as we first glimpsed the lighthouse on Cape Wrath! Soon afterwards we were in 3m waves in a race heading out across the Atlantic. Fun, but the wrong direction so we moved inshore. Then a short stop before we turned east... for Tavi to pump milk and Roger water from their cockpits! :)
Tavi  above at Cape Wrath and Anita below and were spot on with arriving at slack water ...

The sight of the lighthouse tower way up above was a welcome one! Cape Wrath itself was awesome, simply stunning even in the mist and conditions that meant there was no chance of playing through the arches. I think we all have it on our wish list to come back in sunshine and less surf!

Our timing at Cape Wrath and the headlands was impeccable and we hit all the main races at slack! Onward past the bothy at Kearvaig, which looked like an amazing campsite except for the pounding surf! Round Faraid Head and into a gully at Smoo just past Durness. And here we are now; looks like 2 days storm-bound before we can move again.

So we are planning the rest of the north coast and our next big corner - the Pentland Firth. I for one can't wait!!!
Tavi Murray


  1. Thanks Mark, it certainly has been a memorable journey ... truly stunning coastline.
    Hope to see you on the water at some point.
    Best wishes, Roger