Monday, 7 October 2013
A lively Fiddle tune
A bright and breezy afternoon on the Moray Firth saw Allan and I heading out from Cullen and heading west across towards Portknockie. Just before the village is the well known landmark of the Bow Fiddle Rock - a favourite place to paddle in the right conditions.
This photo makes the passage of the arch seem nice and calm - it wasn't particularly calm at all! A metre of swell was roaring up against the cliff on the outside of the arch and the far side, making for a bouncy and noisy exit as the fiddle played us a lively tune.
Safely through and we continued westwards past Portknockie, enjoying super rockhopping around Tronach Head. I've not paddled this section as often as I should; it's an intricate coastline with cliffs, stacks and has some of the best rockhopping around.
Not much further along is Findochty, the harbour itself sometimes being known as Crooked Haven, perhaps as it has a distinct right angle to enter the inner part. Quite large for a Moray Firth harbour, its still well used by boats of all types.
After a short rest we headed back to enjoy more of the rockhopping to be found on the stretch between Findochty and Portknockie. Hours could be spent here threading stacks and skerries. The low swell meant that occasionally we were in places surrounded by roaring surf and yet in sheltered, calm patches among the rocks - really enjoyable paddling.
As a bonus, we had a warm sun on our backs as we headed back around to Cullen. The swell had increased markedly around the Bow Fiddle and we took a brief look before leaving the passage until next time - the tune now a wild reel!.....
Back at Cullen harbour, we sat in the afternoon sunshine and enjoyed a handy sized container of Guinness Sports Recovery Drink (thanks Allan!). This paddle is just 16 km but packs in a whole lot of fun on the way......