Mull of Kintyre

Introduction

Times of high water

Campbeltown*: High water is 10 minutes after high water at Greenock. Tidal streams are weak and irregular.

Sanda Island*: High water is 40 minutes before high water at Greenock

Tidal streams

Offshore Mull of Kintyre, SW of Sanda: The east going stream begins at 4 hours and 45 minutes after high water at Greenock. The west going stream begins at 1 hours and 45 minutes before high water at Greenock. The flow reaches a speed of 3.3 knots at springs. This offshore stream attains a speed of 6 knots off the Mull of Kintyre. During the last two hours of the west-going stream (i.e. from around 2 hours and 45 minutes after high water at Greenock), this stream runs in the opposite direction to the inshore stream. This causes turbulence between the inshore and offshore streams, causing a dangerous race off Sron Uamha, especially in southerly winds. Overalls can also form south west of Sanda.

Sound of Sanda, mid channel: The east north-east going stream begins at 3 hours and 40 minutes after high water at Greenock. The west south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Greenock. The flow reaches a speed of 5 knots at springs. Races form on the ebb north of both Sheep Island (extended halfway across the Sound) and Sanda.

Dunaverty Bay: There is little stream in the bay.

Inshore, just west of the Mull of Kintyre: The south south-east going stream begins at 3 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Greenock. The north north-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 50 minutes before high water at Greenock. The flow reaches a speed of 5 knots at springs. A race forms to the south and southwest. This inshore stream turns one hour earlier than the offshore stream.

Mull of Kintyre, Sron Uamha: The east going stream begins at 3 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Greenock. The west going stream begins at 2 hours and 50 minutes before high water at Greenock. The flow reaches a speed of 4 knots at springs. Tide races form here. The inshore stream (which can be less than 50m wide) turns east at the Mull of Kintyre 3 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Greenock, but the main offshore stream does not turn east until 4 hours and 50 minutes after high water Greenock. The east-going inshore stream and west-going offshore stream run close together here, forming a race 100 to 500m wide which can be violent. Both inner and outer edges of the race are well defined. The water to the east of here can be smooth during this time, but when the offshore stream changes, rollers run through this area, causing heavy surf on the beach to the east for 5 to 10 minutes. A detailed description of the tidal streams is given in the UKHO tidal atlas NP222 and reproduced in the CCC pilot.

Along coast between Mull of Kintyre and Machrihanish: The north going stream begins at 4 hours after high water at Oban. The south going stream begins at 2 hours and 25 minutes before high water at Oban. The flow reaches a speed of 5 knots at springs. The speed of flow decreases away from the Mull of Kintyre.

East side of Island Davaar, Campbeltown Loch*: The tide flows south and north. The south going stream reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs. The north going stream reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. Overfalls may form on the south east point of the Island during the outgoing stream from Campbeltown Loch.

Sound of Sanda, close inshore on north side of Sound*: The streams here turn later than in the middle of the Sound: The east north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 50 minutes after high water at Greenock. The west south-west going stream begins at 1 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Greenock.

Eddy north of Sanda Island*: During the west-going stream an eddy runs from the west end of Sanda to Sanda Roads and Sheep Island.

East-going stream around Sanda*: There is no eddy to the east of Sanda on the east-going stream - the flow runs strongly between the islets and rocks to the north and east of Sanda.

Kilbrannan Sound, Halfway between Ru Stafnish and Arran*: The north going stream begins at 5 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Greenock. The south going stream begins at 1 hours before high water at Greenock. The flow reaches a speed of 0.6 knots at springs.

Notes

Access/Egress

Machrihanish: (NR 638 208) g Small car park near the public toilets at the east end of the beach.

Dunaverty Bay*: (NR 683 080) g Layby by public toilets and picnic area, track down to beach, 100m carry.

Carskey Bay*: (NR 670 077) g Public car park by beach.

Kildalloig*: (NR 745 194) g Roadside parking area, gate leading to foreshore. Would be possible to launch to the east in Kildalloig Bay, but there is no closer parking spot.

Kilkerran*: (NR 727 197) g Roadside parking by a small park and picnic area. Carry across road to foreshore.

Campbeltown North Shore Road*: (NR 723 208) g Access to beach by disused pier. Parking along road on George Street close by.

Campbeltown, Low Askomill Walk*: (NR 724 209) g Slipway off Low Askomill Walk by the sailing club. Limited parking where Low Askomill Walk joins the main road just to the west.

Suggested trips

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