Archive for St Abbs

Forth Favourites

Posted in Paddling, Sea Kayak with tags , , , , on October 6, 2014 by Jinja Coo

In the space of a week I was lucky enough to enjoy three paddles in some favourite places in the Forth after a bit of a break from the place…

First an evening paddle out to Bass Rock…
Great sunset, bouncy conditions, bird life and a gorgeous moonrise.





…Then a misty crossing from North Berwick to the Isle of May and back..
Passing Bass Rock again for the second time in the week. However, it is impossible to get bored with the place. A day of stunning reflections on the water, great cliff and cave scenery and lots of seals and birds as well as some exploring of the Isle of May on foot…








…Then finally, a trip out St Abbs way.
Paddling form Coldingham, west to beyond Fast Castle and back. More great cliff scenery, sleeping and awake seals and more bouncy conditions for interest too.








Sleeping Seal

Sleeping Seal

A great week’s paddling!


Paddling the St Abbs Coastline in Haar

Posted in Paddling, Sea Kayak with tags , , , on August 5, 2014 by Jinja Coo

After a great forecast all week and sunshine all day, it was slightly disappointing to see a bank of fog sitting out beyond Dunbar as I drove along after work. Oh well, it would add character to the paddle I told myself.

We did the carry down to the water where little in the way of surf was evident, just a few waves of less than one foot gently moving the sailing boat moored out in the mist a hundred metres out.


In no time we were passing the houses and harbour of St Abbs and passing below the cliffs towards the lighthouse at St Abbs head where a couple of divers were bobbing about awaiting their pickup. Round about here interest picked up with some channels and hidden bits we ventured in to to explore. Lots of colourful jelly fish in the water were looking particularly pretty here in the shallows, contrasted against the bottom.








We continued along, passing Pettico Wick where the scenery seemed a bit more open and things started to brighten a bit. The sun showed through the mist as a yellow disc, sometimes full, others partially hidden – very odd but amazing. A stop on a skerry had us refueled and the decision made to keep going with the sea stack The Souter as a turning point. This stop coincided with the lightest mist which never quite revealed the tops of the cliffs but soon it thickened again and all we had for company was the base of the cliffs, skerries and eerie (in the mist) looking lobster pot markers. Funky geology was evident everywhere you looked, lots of twisted rock for example.





We arrived at the Souter and lingered for a couple of minutes before turning about and hugging the coast back. By now light was notably departing for the day but still good enough to see our way along and there wasn’t a sound other than the movement of the water against rocks, in fact eventually that breaking water would aid our navigation a bit.





I completely forgot about the lighhouse and it was a bit of a surprise to round a corner and find four slowly rotating beams of light above us struggling to find their way through the mist above. Very nice! Soon enough (but not soon enough), the lights of St Abbs itself could be made out and we crossed the bay to it. Here we called in to folks to let them know all was well, it was now 11pm, the time we had said we’d be off the water by, then continued on the last few hundred metres to Coldingham. The only evidence of the yacht was a spooky mooring light suspended in the mist above us.




A really nice night paddle, more atmospheric than usual, maybe mist is not so bad after all.

3rd of July, 2011 – Wobbles and Jellies at St Abbs

Posted in Kayak, Paddling, Sea Kayak with tags on July 3, 2011 by Jinja Coo

For what seemed like the warmest and sunniest day in a couple of months, I headed out to St Abbs with a paddle along the stretch of coast just west of the little town.

As forecast, there was very little wind but some predicted 1m swell was very much in evidence and at times seemed significantly bigger. As I left the calm of the harbour, I was soon bouncing (or wobbling) around and gingerly making my way through gaps between rocks when the sets of waves allowed. Sometimes changing my mind, I turned and found a less intimidating option to make my way along towards St Abb’s Head.

Jelly Fish

I passed over, and sometimes through, an amazing number of jelly fish; in fact the local nuclear power station had recently had to interrupt generation as the jelly fish were impacting their ability to take in cooling water. There were literally carpets formed of them and I was keener than usual not to roll over in the waves, a bit of added excitement though none was needed.

Lighthouse at St Abb's Head

Along, level with the lighthouse, at St Abb’s Head which is as far as I went, the clapotis and general churning up of the surface seemed particularly bad which does not help with taking pictures and after a few minutes sitting out from the cliffs and enjoying the noise and sights of the waves crashing at their base, causing a misty air above, I turned and headed back. This time I spent a bit longer trying to explore the wider openings in the cliffs and sitting closer to rocks sizing up windows that I could get through without danger.

A short trip, just an hour and a half on the water but great fun if slightly daunting. The slightly less-than-direct route taken can be seen here.

Approaching St Abbs on the return journey