Sunday, 26 September 2010

Stonehaven Swell

A while ago I had a return trip from Catterline to Stonehaven. This is a spectacular part of the east coast and I was keen for a return trip. This Sunday Ken and Sarah came along for a wind and swell assisted run from Stonehaven down to Inverbervie. There has been a lot of swell on this side of the country over the last fortnight, and we were fortunate to catch a day when the weather was fine and the sea had dropped enough to make things reasonable along the cliffs.

We resisted ice creams and bacon rolls in Stonehaven harbour. It would be an easy place to relax in for an hour or two. The entrance to the inner harbour had been closed off, and as we hit some Yee Ha waves before we cleared the outer breakwater we began to see why. There was still a good big swell running, fortunately in our direction.

We bobbed up and down whilst keeping up about 4 knots with little effort. All good fun, but the downside was that we had to keep out from the cliffs, which are spectacular and full of caves along here. We did manage to get close in to the Garran, a rock arch leading to a pool and boulder beach.

Getting into the tiny harbour at Catterline looked tricky, so we found a wee cove sheltered from the breakers.

Another remarkably quick blast took us down to Inverbervie. The beach here is shingle and changes day to day. It isn't the best place to land- the surf dumps onto steep slopes, though fortunately it was sheltered from the biggest waves today. The first picture was taken at low tide, before we set off, and probably shows the problem best.

A quick jump out of the boat followed by a run up a 45 degree shingle slope left me a bit out of breath!

Journey's end.


  1. Hi Iain,
    You did well to get a trip! I looked at Stoney from the A90 on Saturday 2nd - truly frightening; the whole bay was white with spume and big surf. A day to go hillwalking instead!

    Kind regards, Ian

  2. Having virtually no tides here (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA), I find your pictures fascinating.