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The Bass Rock and St Abb's Head, September 2016

The Bass Rock

Sea kayaking - North Berwick - September 2016


9 paddlers from Deveron canoe club travelled down to North Berwick for the second sea weekend of 2016, we were greeted by the mighty Bass Rock, stunning coastal views and a much needed hot drink from Alice. After a quick bite to eat got ourselves water ready and paddled east out of North Berwick on beautifully calm seas. 

Paddling round the coast for 2-3 miles we did a bit of rock hopping (Ross of course getting a bit stuck), and weaved our way along.


Further round the coast there was lots more to see, from quaint little seaside houses, the eery looking gin radar station (yours for £3M) as well as the stunning Tantallon castle which towered above us atop some gorgeous cliffs. After a short hop across open water we arrived at a flat set of rocks jutting out of the sea with a tall stone tower in the middle - "St. Baldreds Boat".


 George Alan and Ross feeling daring decided to climb up the ladder to the top of the tower apparently unfazed by the absence of the 3 bottom rungs which had rusted away. At the top the adventurers were rewarded with stunning views that stretched for miles all around. On the rocks next to us we counted 13 seals that were busy sunning themselves on what was a really gorgeous day.

Having made it back to sea level we  headed back west across towards the mighty Bass rock which began to dominate the horizon. As we drew nearer saw a haze of gannets all round the rock like a swarm, their unified caw's were thunderous, we all donned our hats in case of a surprise aerial attack. Paddling round the rock and admiring the sheer cliff faces that covered nearly the whole perimeter, Jim was unexpectedly the victim of attempted robbery as a greedy gannet tried to make off with his pump. On the far side of a rock we found a vast cave that cut deep into the igneous rock, we found out later it was an old smugglers cave.

After circumnavigating the Bass Rock and having a good look at the now automated light house we left our rowdy feathered friends behind and made our way back towards the castle. 


Having found a new lease of life from Alan's trusty chocolate George and Ross has a wee race back to the castle. On the return leg we mingled with the Lothian kayak club who seemed like a friendly bunch. We soon made our way back into the picturesque beach at the end of a very enjoyable paddle.  After arriving at the luxurious campsite where we made good on the hot showers, we went in search of food. We found a nice sit in chip shop where we had a lovely meal and indulged ourselves with some well deserved knickerbocker glories. After we popped next door for a few drinks and a relaxing chat as well as an education in whiskey. 

The next morning we awoke to a surprisingly sunny day. With the plans made we ventured further east to Coldingham bay. When we humphed all the boats down to the beach we began to realise how pretty a place it was; a gorgeous little beach with towering cliffs and a stunning cliff house that we've all agreed to pitch in for. Making our way round the coast on what was a considerably more bouncy sea we managed to awake the majority of the local seal population. We soon found a nice little bay where we rafted up and had some well earned chocolate 

But then disaster! A freak swell took a fancy to Alan's prized cap and swooped it off his polished forehead. We soon approached St. Abb's head, a mighty headland with a big foghorn and lighthouse on top of it. Once round the head we landed in a sheltered bay for some lunch. Andy gave us a great demonstration of how to fall in getting out of your kayak. With our batteries recharged we headed further west.

As we moved further away from St. Abb's the swell dropped and the sun came out, it was a lovely afternoon for paddling. After exploring some caves and indulging in lots of fun rock hopping we soon approached Pease Bay. A lovely long beach with lots of pretty mobile homes behind it lay before us.  We played a bit in the waves and surfed into the beach. Thank goodness there wasn't a policeman nearby or Alice might have got a speeding ticket for her sideways landing. We were all very tired but had thoroughly   enjoyed our sea weekend.