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Old 15 December 2011, 11:15   #1
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Moray firth

I may be moving up to this area if all goes well next week. Anybody have any knowledge of the area and its Ribbing potential.
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Old 15 December 2011, 13:51   #2
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The Moray Firth is a Special Area of Conservation and is very famous for its dolphins and other marine life.

Be wary though as the last time I was there -the Skipper of one of the Sight seeing boats got very ansy with one of the RIBs in our group for "speeding" ie 20 kn in the area below Kessock Bridge at Inverness, even though at that time there were no signs or warnings.

You will probably know that Inverness is the entrance to the Caledonian canal which is just amazing and if it is open it would be another option for this time of the year - there is a slipway in North Kessock and also a new marina in Inverness and also in Wick to the north - so plenty of options - enjoy
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Old 15 December 2011, 14:38   #3
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I mostly am wondering about little harbours and places to go, little piers and villages along the coast where you can drive over to and have lunch, that sort of thing.
While the scenery is fantastic on the west coast there are limited places to go where you can get inside for a bite to eat in "iffy" weather.
The west is briliant in sunny weather for remote places and barbies but in the last couple of years we have had precious few nice days of weather.
had a look at the diving in the area along the south side of the fiirth and it looks brilliant, lots of new wrecks to dive.
However I need somewhere for feeding and watering the missus to keep her onside.....
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Old 15 December 2011, 15:04   #4
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In that case check out Helmsdale - its a beautiful little village with a sheltered harbour and a long floating pontoon - the village has all the usual amenties and an award winning chippy where the portions are huge
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Old 15 December 2011, 15:07   #5
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I know Helmsdale, I go to Orkney two/three times a year and pass through it.
I am thinking more along the coast towards Elgin as I am not that familiar with this part of the coast.
Are there not lots of little ports and fishing villages to visit along this coast?
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Old 15 December 2011, 15:14   #6
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The west is briliant in sunny weather for remote places and barbies but in the last couple of years we have had precious few nice days of weather.
had a look at the diving in the area along the south side of the fiirth and it looks brilliant, lots of new wrecks to dive.
However I need somewhere for feeding and watering the missus to keep her onside.....[/QUOTE]

If you think the West Coast with all its sheltered harbours is no use in bad weather then the East Coast is going to be a shock!!!You may have 3 weeks at a time when you cant even get out!! West is best!!!
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Old 15 December 2011, 15:28   #7
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I know about the lack of shelter. It places that you can pop into and have a bite to eat and a wander around in a little bit of civilisation that I am looking for.
The west coast is fantastic when the weathers nice and you can land on beaches etc and have a barbie.
Its not so easy to convince the missus to go out on the boat when I can't promise here a warm place to have a coffee and cake or a glass or two.
West coast towns are a bit short of this sort of thing, especially in the winter........You are better catered to in Bute, the clyde is a two hour tow for me each way.
More thinking on the possibilities of sticking the boat in for a run to somewhere, having a bite and coming back, especially when the weather is exactly that, weathery.
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Old 15 December 2011, 15:41   #8
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Have ye lost your senses man ? .. I take it work is the driving force ?

Theres no other like the west .. all you get on the 'other' side is people whose pitch goes up at the end of a sentance .. and Polwart .. I was in his home toun the day actually ... had the shotgun under the seat but I didnt see 'im .........
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Old 15 December 2011, 17:56   #9
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I am a west coaster too but Oban is a bit too far west for comfort
Its a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. oh bugger, I do!

I am just fed up with no access to anything, its fantastic in good weather but honestly how much good weather have we had in the last two years...................

I want to go back to somewhere that has a cinema, pubs, shops, and everyone isn't bloody related to everyone else!
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Old 16 December 2011, 02:57   #10
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I used to launch at Rosehearty. Local kids are like something out of Oliver Twist - with an accent that takes a bit of getting used to! Little bu**ers jump off the breakwater in the summer and were playing on the slipway when I was launching (as you do!) Tight slipway and the harbour dries out, but good place to start from. There's also a decent carpark. Rosehearty falls under Aberdeenshire Council - so you can pay £60 for annual membership to launch or £15 to launch and recover. Great stretch of coast, especially gannet colony on cliffs at Troup Head. Gardenstown is a great harbour for lunch, sheltered, etc. There's also the SS Fram wreck, etc. Give me a shout if you want to cruise in company next spring.
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Old 16 December 2011, 06:12   #11
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I've only pulled in to three places along the south of the firth so I can tell you about them. Lossiemouth has a marina and the town has cafť and most everything you'll need, Buckie will happily let you in and they're friendly and helpful but it's still very much a fishing port, you can stay overnight and there are showers. Normal town facilities available. Further east there's Whitehills, marina facilities, pretty, friendly, smallish and the necessary caf in the village. That section of coast though is exposed and without offlying islands so can be bleak.
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Old 16 December 2011, 14:45   #12
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Bruce where are you going to be based? this will make a big difference to where you go. From Banff/Macduff to Inverness by road is 70ish miles so by boat alot of coast.

Others have covered ports up to Pennan/Gardenstown, next is Macduff which is a commercial harbour fuel a short walk 10 mins and food directly across the road from harbour.
Banff is across the bay crap access but nice town.
Whitehills is approx 3 miles further west small marina with visitor pontoon, showers etc.
Portsoy is the next harbour, tidal but you can slowly make your way in at low water springs. Very nice little cafe just of main street, shop and chemist.
Sandend is next small bad access and no facilities.
Cullen dries (most of the time even at high water)
Portknockie access with care at all states of tide, shop, pubs, chippy.
Findochty access with care all states of tide, shop, pub on harbour front.
Buckie covered
Lossie across the bay from buckie approx 6 miles
Hopeman dries don't know haven't been for years
Burghead commercial harbour some facilities
Findhorn watch for the bar (contact Simon at the marina) pubs, shop and marina
Nairn marina but limited access and very shallow and flat long way out.

You can cross from South side to North in a few hours but you have to watch the weather as it can change quickly and as noted before there is very little shelter. Having said that the coast is stunning.

As for charter boat skipper shouting that's Inverness all tourism and nothing else Used to run a charter boat furhter down the coast and we were just glad to see other people Oh and the Firth further east isn't crowded.
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Old 16 December 2011, 16:44   #13
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Sandend is next ... small bad access and no facilities.
beautiful little harbour and I do like places where no one else goes
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Old 18 December 2011, 16:45   #14
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Thats something to be going on with.
Probably going to be based around Inverness but never been afraid to tow to get somewhere nice.
Should know tuesday or wednesday if its going to happen...
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Old 18 December 2011, 17:11   #15
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Thats something to be going on with.
Just mind this bit on the north side though

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That section of coast though is exposed and without offlying islands so can be bleak.
The few small harbours are nice and a step back in time in some ways.

When I mentioned Sandend, or 'sanine' as the locals say it .. lovely big beach.. there are quite a lot of holiday lets down at the harbour and so you could be close to your kit although the beach in the harbour is stoney IIRC.. and theres some trouble afoot these days

Village blackout sparks crimewave | The Sun |Home Scotland|Scottish News

mind you 3 incidents a year is a crimewave in Sandend I shouldnt laugh
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Old 20 December 2011, 17:02   #16
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Its all sorted, was offered and accepted a job in Inverness today so will be based around this area somewhere before the summer
will start looking for slips and places to go in earnest in a month or two, plus anyone about for runs or diving.
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Old 20 December 2011, 17:18   #17
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Old 21 December 2011, 03:55   #18
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Inverness is a nice spot. Hope you both enjoy it. You'll sound out the boating thing fairly quickly - you might make some interesting discoveries on that local lake if you run the sidescan regularly....
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Old 01 March 2012, 15:26   #19
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East Coast

I can see the attraction of both the east and the west coasts but being an east coaster myself I have to support it, there are loads of little towns and villages all the way up the coast with harbours and free slips, as for the comment made about having three weeks where you can't get out!, thats nonsense, RIB's are made to handle the challenges of a bit of motion in the sea, as long as you're not tearing along at full throttle it's perfectly doable, I live in Wick in the far north and we have some horrendous sea's in the winter but spring and summer time is fine, just pay some attention to the weather forcast and wait for a spell of westerly winds, its a beautiful coastline with some cracking wee harbours along the way, just be aware of the ones that have no water at low tide, go on, you know you want to
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Old 02 March 2012, 05:22   #20
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In that case check out Helmsdale - its a beautiful little village with a sheltered harbour and a long floating pontoon - the village has all the usual amenties and an award winning chippy where the portions are huge

Ah "La Mirage" Chippy, Num Num Num! a frequent stop of mine on my way home from the Big Rigs, gotta try their fish suppers Mmmm thats got my mouth watering.

Helmsdale is probably the last port of call on the way north with amenities before you get to Lybster though its a fair treck up to the village, nice wee harbour though and their is a visitor centre and cafe there if you're visiting at the right time of year, Wick is the next town with a floating secure marina and plenty of choice for B&B and eating places.
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