Between Portsoy and Whitehills there's a small bay with a sandy beach - one of several on this stretch; and best found by exploring each one!
Like all the bays here it's prone to surf but this one isn't too steep so landing is OK in fairly benign conditions.
The ebbing tide had left a delicate pattern on the sand at the high water mark.....
....small depressions were filled with colourful boulders of varying rock types, a feature of the Moray Firth coast is the variety of boulder types which occur.
In the centre of the beach and above the storm-line there's an overhanging rock outcrop with deep fissures. At the base somebody has gone to some lengths to create a tiny fire-pit entirely from stone, floored with a small flat rock so that no damage will be caused to the ground. Stowed against the rock itself is a barbeque grill on legs, and in one of the dry fissures there's a bag of charcoal and a box of matches carefully wrapped to keep them dry.
A baulk of timber provides a bench to seat a few folks - the whole thing adds up to a built-in kitchen :o)
None of this would be at all obvious from the land side and is very discreet from the shore too. Next time I visit here I'll bring some charcoal and food to grill!
I could only agree with the sign......
I lingered a bit on the beach and didn't paddle the last stretch to Whitehills, turning to slowly paddle back to Sandend instead. The falling tide had changed the channel at the West Head completely - without water pouring in from the side it was much easier.
On the way across Sandend Bay back to the harbour the view out to the north was quite striking, a vanishing-point effect of glassy water and grey cloud sheet made it difficult to tell where the horizon actually was.
I'd set out intending to test a bit of sailing rig, and ended up finding a beach with a kitchen - there's never a dull paddle!