The following paddles have been described in and around the Isle of Man. These descriptions are a brief guide only, and should not be used alone for trip planning purposes.
Manx Paddle Sports information page.
Buy Palm, Dagger and Ainsworth kayaking gear through Mobex. Mobex are a Manx children's charity specializing in outdoor activities for kids. All profits are ploughed straight back into Mobex.
myKAYAK is the Facebook group where you'll find many of the kayakers involved with KAYAK.im .If you are looking for a paddling partner on the Isle of Man, Paddle Buddy is a way of linking with local Manx sea kayakers, surf kayakers and river paddlers.
Detailed wind, temperature, precipitation, visibility and tide reports for the Isle of Man all in one handy place.
The Guide pages provide brief descriptions of Manx paddles and are aimed at those planning paddling holidays to the Isle of Man.
The Sound of Man is located at the most southerly tip of the Isle of Man. It is the narrow channel between the main Isle of Man, and the much smaller island, the Calf of Man. The sound itself is further divided by a small rocky island called Kitterland. This has the effect of further narrowing an already narrow and shallow channel. It is the shear mass of water passing through a narrow channel which helps create the turbulent water of the Sound. In addition currents traveling in opposing directions and then meeting contributes to the turbulence and standing waves typical of this area.
From the mainland the Calf can be seen in the distance with the much smaller Kitterland occupying the centre of the Sound of Man.
Beyond Kitterland are more rocks occupied by a permanent marker. Thus, the Sound is divided into three races by these two natural obstacles.
Left: Permanent marker between Kitterland and the Calf . Right: Three tidal races visible.
The Sound of Man can be accessed from Port Erin (approximately 40 minute paddle), Port St. Mary (approximately 55 minute paddle) or directly from below the Calf Cafe. From the cafe car park follow the path down towards the Sound. Pass through the grassy wall and travel left towards an obvious harbour. Trekking to the right a similar natural harbour can be found, although this one is much less accessible and there is a tricky clamber over often slippery rocks to access the sea. Pick the access point most sheltered from the wind, but if wind and swell are not a factor then choose the harbour to the left of the Sound.
Left: Easy access to the left harbour. Right: A scrabble down slippery rocks to this access point is best avoided.
On accessing the Sound the small tidal race between the Isle of Man and Kitterland is often a good place to ease into the turbulence. Once happy the larger races behind Kitterland can be accessed. However, it should be borne in mind that depending on tide and weather the Sound of Man can be extreme, and is only suitable for the most skilled and advanced kayakers. Even then it can pose great danger to those who venture in. I recommend that visitors only access these races with a local competent guide.
The south going stream begins at high water + 3.45 hours. The north going stream begins at high water - 1.45 hours. The maximum current, which can be around 4 to 5 knots, occurs at roughly high and low water times, and the minimum current is at half tide.
Mobile phone and VHF coverage is very poor in this area and these devices cannot be relied upon in cases of emergency.
Warning: Kayaking can be dangerous. Non of the information provided here should be used to plan paddles by inexperienced kayakers, and without expert help and appropriate equipment. In no way should any person assume that any information contained on this site is a recommendation of the safety of the location, facility or professionalism of the instructing personnel. Indeed, some of the locations described can be dangerous.
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