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Places : Europe : Scotland
The wild mountains of Scotland make it a popular outdoor persuits destination, despite the unpredictable weather. Happily whitewater kayakers can benefit from a spot of rainfall, so it's only the cold we have to worry about (see ICCC trip report [Warmth is the work of the devil])

Whitewater Rivers

Sea kayaking

The [Gulf Stream]? hits the West coast of Scotland, which makes sea kayaking much warmer than many similar latitudes. Sea surface temperatures typically go from 7°C at the start of the season up to about 14° at the end. The West Coast is mainly sheltered by the large island groups of the Outer and Inner Hebrides so large Atlantic swells are only felt on the outer coasts of these islands, and on the more Northern coasts of Scotland. On the other hand, the presence of some long islands parallel to the ebb and flow of the tides can mean that high tide is delayed by two hours or more either side of an island, with significant height differences. This leads to some very strong tidal flows in the sounds between islands - the tide race at the Gulf of Corryvreckan (between Scarba and Jura) for example, generates the world's second largest whirlpool. A trip through this passage, even at slack water neaps, requires careful consideration of the time, and even then the water seethes menacingly ... Tide times can also be affected by the wind direction, so predicted times of slack can be significantsly wrong. As with many west coasts in temperate latitudes, the weather can change very quickly, and coastal weather can be very different from the mountainous mainland. Steep coasts can lead to severe squalls even in apparently sheltered sea lochs. All in all, the wild beauty and exciting tides and weather make the west of Scotland one of the most interesting places in the world to go sea kayaking.

This is a stub. Feel free to add more Scottish kayaking places.

Discuss kayaking in Scotland: /talk

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Last edited April 13, 2006 2:29 pm by Michael Daly (diff)