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2022 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip – Day 05 Thursday Arran – Largybeg Point to Lochranza by Debbie Hughes

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2022 Scottish Sea Kayaking Trip

Day 05 Thursday Arran – Largybeg Point to Lochranza by Debbie Hughes

Despite having camped on land evidently occupied by cattle, we got through the night without interference from large hoofy bovines. Yet another birthday morning for me with LCC, with card, rosette and birthday banner from the gang – special people and special places to remember the day, thanks for caring.

It was quite a leisurely start (as these things go) as we had to wait for the tide to come in enough to negotiate the bouldery exit. The “teamwork makes the dreamwork” was essential to get on the water with the fully laden boats.

We set off across Whiting Bay towards the channel between the mainland and Holy Island. We took the outside route past the lighthouse and spotted a large herd of feral goats or maybe sheep. Not easy to tell from the sea. And sea going swans.

Amazing views towards Goatfell and then even more jaggedy mountains as we got further north.MapDescription automatically generated

Onwards to lunch spot – and an eagerly anticipated brush with shops at Brodick. Landed on the beach not far from the ferry terminal (wonderful facilities!) and then went on a water hunt. Well done to Scottish Water who provided a brilliant water dispenser halfway along the prom, ideal for filling up 2 litre pop bottles. Every town should have one. We had a great lunch spot with benches at the top of the beach – and Dave produced birthday cake – not just one but two!!! Carrot cake and coffee and walnut – cut into eight pieces and scoffed with relish by all. Big thanks Dave – loved it.

The afternoon’s paddle turned into a bit of a marathon as camping spots were in short supply and we soldiered on to Lochranza – after a breather near North Sannox where Catriona tried out Andy’s boat – we’ll never keep up with her if she decides to change for a composite boat! Then off again.

The PS Waverley paddle steamer passed us – looked spectacular with its swept-back funnels, the last sea-going passenger-carrying paddle steamer in the world and built in 1946 according to Mr Google.

Never believe anyone who says “it’s just round the next corner!” Oh… that afternoon was a long paddle. Eventually, with most of us despairing of ever getting off the water, we made it to Lochranza and chief scout Keith went off to suss out the possibility of camping by the castle on the spit at the far side of the bay.

Phew, if we cooked first and left putting the tents up until nearly dark, it was decided we could get away with it. We were right in full view of houses on either side of the bay but the alternative of paddling on to find another site was not popular. So, that’s what we did – a friendly local cheerily told us there was no pub, no hotel, but there was a pop-up French restaurant near the ferry although no one tried it out. (The ferry was called Catriona) It was very midgey – and poor Frankie had a right battle getting her tent up in the dark with a pole malfunction, the last thing you need after a long paddle – and the “facilities” were right at the far end of the village, but it was home for the night and another fantastic place to remember a birthday.

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