Route: Kilcreggan, Gourock, Cloch Point, Cardwell Bay, Inverkip and v.v.
Report: “Exploration”-investigating new areas or new perspectives-is an important part of the appeal of sea kayaking. However finding unfamiliar areas for short day trips can be difficult. This route was chosen simply because the coast was less familiar than most. Kilcreggan was chosen to give us an extra hour of paddling south than from a Helensburgh launch. The launch point was about 400m along Fort Road (turn sharp left at bottom of hill at entrance of village) by the entrance of the Portkil Estate. The beach here has been cleared of large stones to allow easy motor boat launching and there is good parking. We were afloat by 9am.
The previous day had seen F5 north easterly winds and although the wind had dropped to a low F4 there was still considerable swell which led to an “interesting” if fast crossing.
With a strong wind on our backs we rounded Cloch Point for our first stop of the day in Lunderston Bay by the Cardwell Bay Garden Centre. This is an excellent landing with a sand beach, seats and a large flat grass area.
After some relaxation in the sun, we headed on south for Inverkip in the strong breeze always conscious that every km south would be a fierce battle north. The views both north (Loch Long and Argyll Forest Park) and south to Arran were outstanding. The removal of Inverkip Power Sation and its huge chimney has improved the area immeasurably.
After mooching around “Scotland’s Premier Marina” we decided to begin our battle back home. We progressed well and were at McInroy’s Point (the Western Ferries dock) for lunch. There is quite a good beach just to the west of the point. One item to note were the weekend “huts” perched on the edge at Cloch Point. These seem to have been built on old gun emplacements.
After a long lunch break we paddled along he Gourock prom to the Cal-Mac terminal keeping in as much shelter inshore as possible. From Gourock e crossed back to Kilcreggan, the wind having dropped to a F3 and shifted slightly to the south. We were back by 3.30. An excellent day.