Benbecula and North Uist

Introduction

This area covers Benbecula and the channels around it, extending north to cover much of North Uist, but stopping south of the Sound of Harris and nearby channels. At the south end, the area begins just south of Rubha Aird na Machrach at the west, and just north of Loch Sgiopoirt at the east. At the north end, it runs up to Traigh Iar at the west and just south of Loch Nam Maddah at the east. It also includes the islands to the west: the Monach Islands and St. Kilda.

Times of high water

Loch Carnan: High water is 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool at springs, 1 hour 10 minutes before Ullapool at neaps.

Wiay: Port Pheadair: high water is 40 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Balivanich: High water is 44 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Bagh Moraig: High water is 40 minutes before high water at Ullapool The entrance channel dries 1.6m at the centre, although narrow channels may enable a kayak to pass at most states of the tide. The tide can run strongly through the entrance. MHWS 4.8m, MLWS 0.7m, MLWN 1.9m.

Monach Islands: High water is 1 hours and 3 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Vallay Island: High water is 40 minutes before high water at Ullapool. It is wise to only attempt to paddle around the south side of the Island at high water.

Loch Euphort: High water is 40 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Ceallan: High water is 40 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Loch Uisgeabhagh: High water is 40 minutes before high water at Ullapool

St. Kilda: High water is 55 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Tidal streams

West coast of Benbecula: The north going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 1 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. Flow less away from salient points.

Loch Carnan: The east south-east going stream begins at 25 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west north-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 35 minutes after high water at Ullapool. Streams are weak except in narrow channels.

Between South Uist and Benbecula, east side: Bagh Nam Faoillann: The east south-east going stream begins at 25 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west north-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 35 minutes after high water at Ullapool.

Luib Bhan: In the western parts of the channels to the south of Benbecula. The east going stream begins at 5 hours and 25 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The west going stream begins at 35 minutes before high water at Ullapool.

East coast of Benbecula: The north north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 20 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The south south-west going stream begins at 40 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs.

Loch Uisgeabhagh: The east going stream begins at 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west going stream begins at 5 hours and 50 minutes after high water at Ullapool. Streams are weak.

South of Grimsay: The south-east going stream begins at 25 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The north-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 35 minutes after high water at Ullapool.

Vallastrome: The north going stream begins at 5 hours and 35 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 25 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The Vallastome is the name given to the inner channel leading to Ceallan (Kallin) harbour between Grimsby and Garbh Eilean Mor. Flows can be significant.

Between Ronay and Flodaigh Mor: The east south-east going stream begins at 25 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west north-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 35 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. Flows are likely similar to the north of Flodaigh Mor. Flows are reported to be less strong in some sources.

Oitir Mhor: Through Beul an Toim, around the west end of the channels north of Benbecula. The east going stream begins at 5 hours and 25 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The west going stream begins at 35 minutes before high water at Ullapool.

Monach Sound: The south south-east going stream begins at 1 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The north north-west going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

South of the Monach Islands: The north going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 1 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. This speed is attained east and west of the islands, with flows under 0.5 knots offshore.

Causamul Sound: Between Causamul and North Uist: The north going stream begins at 6 hours before high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 25 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Eddy south of the Monach Islands: During the south-going stream, an eddy runs north from around 2 miles south of the Islands.

North of the Monach Islands: The north going stream begins at 4 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 2 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Eddy north of Monach Islands: During the north going tide, and eddy runs south towards the islands from a point around 2 miles north of them.

Rubha Ghriminis: The north north-east going stream begins at 6 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south south-west going stream begins at 10 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs.

Around Haskeir Island: The north north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The streams are likely strong.

Entrances to Bhalaigh sand: Streams in both entrances to the sands behind the island of Vallay run at 3 knots.

East coast of North Uist: The north north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 50 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south south-west going stream begins at 35 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. The flow is much less away from salient points.

Loch Euphort Narrows: The east going stream begins at 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west going stream begins at 5 hours and 40 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs. Eddies form close to shore on both sides. Streams are weak elsewhere within the Loch, although an eddy runs east in Acarsaid Li during the in-going stream.

Around St. Kilda: The north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 45 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs. The 3 knot streams occur off Dun and the west side of Soay. Overfalls occur between Dun and Levenish.

Notes

Access/Egress

Loch Carnan: (NF 830 431) g Sheltered cove and slipway. It should be possible to park here, although it may be wise to ask those who work here.

Ardivachar: (NF 740 455) g Large tarmac area by the cemetery.

Fodragaigh: (NF 849 457) g Slipway with space to park.

Cuinabunag: (NF 760 525) g The jetty provides shelter to one end of the beach. Parking area.

Ceallan: (NF 881 554) g Harbour. Parking should be possible, but be considerate as this is a working harbour.

Causeway north of Grimsay: (NF 849 579) g Small parking area, access to water around the time of high water.

Langais lodge: (NF 841 650) g Small pier, a short walk away from parking at the lodge (food and refreshments available).

Houghgharry: (NF 707 713) g Beach. May be possible to park on the grass verge.

Grimnish Pier: (NF 757 757) g Pier and slipway. According to the chart, the channel to here from the north west should be open at all states of the tide.

Suggested trips

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