Do I Look Like A Fish?

Is it possible that a gannet can be short sighted?

Or perhaps enjoy scaring the guano out of sea kayakers?

Paddling between Portsoy and Portknockie, on the Aberdeenshire coast, I felt as much as heard the 'whumph".

When diving, a Northern Gannet hits the water at around travelling at 60mph. This individual chose to do so less than a metre from my kayak.

Did he veer off at the last moment? Was he aiming to miss me all the time?

When my brain finally caught up, I saw his bubble trail under the water, before he popped back to the surface. Was that a grin? Or perhaps a twinkle in that gorgeous blue eye?

He certainly chose a spectacular part of Scotland to patrol.

Alongside is a shot of Bow Fiddle Rock, close to Portknockie. It's the highlight on a trip studded with geological excitement.

With a little swell running, we managed to get in behind the rock and close to the hole itself, but I bottled going through.

This route reminded me that one of the reasons I started was to allow experienced sea kayakers to share their top local routes with visitors and newcomers to the sport.

What we paddled wasn't in a guidebook, but was recommended in Donald Thomson's excellent Podcast about Aberdeenshire. You'll find it on the Destinations page.

If you're looking for a different part of Scotland's coast to explore, somewhere dryer and relatively midge free compared to the west, I suggest you give this one a listen. Oh, and take notes.

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