Orkney Kayak / About

In the latter half of June 2018 I hope to paddle round the Orkney Islands, an enchanting Archipelago of some 70 islands off the north coast of Scotland.  The seas round theses islands have a notorious reputation with large waves and fearsome tides. While I normally ignore tides in other Scottish Island trips, in Orkney everything gets planned around them.

I have a plan to cross the Pentland Firth either by kayak or ferry to South Ronaldsay and then go anticlockwise. Whether I paddle or take the ferry across the Pentland Firth depends on the tides, the weather and my bottle. I have missed the best neap tides for this period and will have to cross between neaps and springs. The two options of my routes are below. Plan A is full of bravado and Plan B more timid but more common sense. The plan I go will show up on the Map tab for this trip which is a live tracker feed.

Plan A. Paddle over the Pentland Firth via the Islands of Stroma and Swona

Plan B. Takee the Ferry over the Pentland Firth to St Margarets Hope on South Ronaldsay and start paddling from there.

In case one is blaise about kayaking in the Pentland Frith one should always bear in mind the brave men of the Longhope Lifeboat crew who were all lost in a storm helping a stricken vessel.  Here is a memorial to them I took a few years ago on a visit

02. A Memorial to the lifeboat men of Longhope

I will use my well tested Kayak which has seen me through thick and thin. While not that fast and sexy it is a solid stable kayak and can easily carry everything I need for a multiweek trip.

08. My trusty Tiderace Xplore X has seen me through more than 10,000 km of trips and can easily swallow the 16 days worth of supplies here for the Orkney trip.

04. The Lighthouse on the North Tip of North Ronaldsay. The most northerly point of the trip

Of course Orkney is not all about sea spray, ocean swells and tidal rips. It has some of the most interesting history, nicest people and richest marine and birdlife on the planet and I hope this will enrich my trip.

06 The Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae is 5000 years old and highly significant