Grade A Paddle, Seacliff in sunshine, Sunday 1st April.

Grade A Paddle, Seacliff in sunshine, Sunday 1st April.

Seacliff, Grade 1 April 2018

No April fools were we! 12 of us picked Sunday for a paddle , dived through the narrow weather window and had a very pleasant time at Seacliff. Low water at 0945 meant a bit of a walk to the water’s edge – extended by the unexpected appearance of a metre high escarpment at the top of the beach, thanks to erosion by spring tides.

The breeze was F3 dropping to F2 but from the north and chilly, and there was a respectable 5ft swell running with some pretty (but manageable) surf. To the east, big surf coming in; to the north, 20ft plumes of spray against the Bass; so, reminding ourselves this was a Grade A paddle – route choice was a no-brainer – we went out through the waves catching  a few facefuls of spray, and turned left. Easter Sunday, so the battlements of Tantallon held more spectators than usual. On our left big waves hitting the rocks persuaded us to stay offshore until we rounded the Leithies and headed into the shelter of the north west facing beach. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch there in the sun and discussed personal matters – like how many layers people had elected to wear.

The return was into a very light breeze and a falling swell. Thoughts of having a look into the secret harbour were dropped when we got a good look at the waves breaking across and into the approach. But we formed  an orderly  queue for some hints on surf technique, then some respectable runs into Seacliff beach through 3-4ft surf. One or two tipped in at the last moment, but it would be tactless to mention names…..and actually it was a perfect learning environment, We then had a short surfing session for several of the group, who made a number of runs,before packing up in surprisingly warm sunshine, and for those who had time, adjourning to a coffee shop.

A good day.  Thanks to David , Neil , Carol , Graeme , Martyn , Dougie , Segar , Clare E, Clare A, Frances and Michael for their mutually supportive  and good humoured company. And to Ruth and Grietje who decided in the end that Sunday’s swell and surf were a step too far – don’t worry, there will be even better days to come!


Alan Fraser