The Moray Firth has some great stretches of rocky coast cut with channels, outcrops, stacks and arches - it's a super area to paddle and always seems fresh and different. As this would be the last day of paddling for a good while I was glad of the calm weather which made for a very relaxing day.
A sandy bay near to Portsoy with crystal clear water gave some great reflections as I paddled through....
......to find one of the hidden arches. Narrow and in any kind of swell very committing, it's one of several concealed delights on the stretch between Portsoy and Findochty. Difficult to spot from most angles, it's worth looking out for on the Portsoy side of the West Head (Redhythe Point).
At the West Head itself are a series of channels which cut through the end of the headland and can provide some fun, but are more often than not too full of swell for me to attempt. Today all was calm and I was able to paddle the medium-sized one.....
.....and the narrowest of the three which is only just over shoulder width at its narrowest. Even in calm conditions the water rises and falls quite markedly in here!
On the way back to Whitehills I stopped for a leisurely second lunch, deliberately taking my time and enjoying the warm sunshine.
The next time I paddle here it will be deep winter, kayaking opportunities snatched in brief calm days between storms. There will be bitter cold and fleeting daylight on days when going out on the hill or kayaking - mountain or sea - bring much greater challenges together with the frustrations, rewards and stark beauty of a northern winter.
It can't come soon enough for me!