Paddlers: David, Mark, Innes, Jamie, Geoff
Weather: Windy, Bright with Sunny Periods
Report: Ardlamont is notorious with sailors for cutting up rough in anything but a slight breeze. The forecast was for a Force4/5 westerly (18-21mph) but gusts were expected to be only 3 or 4 mph higher. The advice we had was to abandon or at least be prepared to abandon. However there are a number of escape points, even at the point itself, which mitigates any potential dangers and after due consideration we agreed to try it.
Probably the roughest section was immediately after the launch at a beach by the ferry slip at Portavadie. More than one of us thought this may be the place to get out. However we persisted and as we swung west and were pushed along by the strong wind at our backs, began to enjoy the trip, even if the following sea meant relaxing was impossible. In what seemed like a very short period (but was in fact over one and a half hours) we had covered 10km and were at our chosen lunch site Ardlamont Bay.
During lunch we came to the conclusion that the sea at the Point itself would be only a little worse than that we had already experienced. We felt it was, contrary to our initial beliefs, going to be possible to safely kayak it. So it proved, despite a couple of big waves breaking over the boats.
The paddle up the east side of the peninsular was uneventful if hard work. The wind coming through the hills provided keen opposition in places but we reached Kames in good time to meet Mrs C who ran us back over the hill to Portavadie to collect the car.
Ardlamont is a key staging point on the Argyll Sea Kayaking Trail than runs from Dumbarton to Oban. An east west trip in a southerly or westerly Force 3 or above would be near impossible. If our wind had been any further south it would have equally been impossible for us to get round from the west. Users of the Trail should be warned.