• REMINDER - COVID-19

    Any content, information, or advice found on social media platforms and the wider Internet, including forums such as YBW, should NOT be acted upon unless checked against a reliable, authoritative source, and re-checked, particularly where personal health and liberty is at stake. Seek professional advice/confirmation before acting on such at all times.

    Users who are found to promulgate FAKE NEWS on the forum in regard to this issue, intentional or otherwise, may find their access terminated. It is your responsibility to provide references to bona fide sources.

    FAKE NEWS, in this regard, is that which is posited by organisations, media, etc., that is repeated on the forum, or used to support personal opinion/hypothesis posted by users - FAKE NEWS is not necessarily the personal opinion/hypothesis being posted in itself, any issues with such should be challenged respectfully.

Is Corryvreckan whirlpool predictable by the tides?

seafox67

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2017
Messages
195
Location
Greenock
Is Corryvreckan whirlpool predictable by the tides or does it also need a rough sea state?

I took a boat trip on Thursday (15:00-18:00) to experience the power of the whirlpool only to see some confused water!
 

BlowingOldBoots

Well-known member
Joined
5 Aug 2009
Messages
16,059
Location
Scotland.
Yes it is predictable if only because the tourist RIBS depart to optimise the experience when the standing wave / whirlpool eddy is at it's largest.
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
22,225
Location
SW Scotland
There isn't "a" whirlpool there - there are lots, coming and going as the tide changes. Were you on a Sea-fari rib? I did that trip a couple of years ago and had a great time, though the biggest whirlpool was only 30' or so across and maybe 2' deep. They do special trips when they think it will be really wild.
 

seafox67

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2017
Messages
195
Location
Greenock
Yes it is predictable if only because the tourist RIBS depart to optimise the experience when the standing wave / whirlpool eddy is at it's largest.
That's what I thought! We went on a spring tide but I didn't even see anything looking like a whirlpool! I'm wondering now if we were in the correct place! I was told we were above the pinnacle!
 

seafox67

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2017
Messages
195
Location
Greenock
There isn't "a" whirlpool there - there are lots, coming and going as the tide changes. Were you on a Sea-fari rib? I did that trip a couple of years ago and had a great time, though the biggest whirlpool was only 30' or so across and maybe 2' deep. They do special trips when they think it will be really wild.
It wasn't a RIB, I think they usual do wildlife trips but they do a "Whirlpool Special" when at spring tides! However, I didn't see one whirlpool! not even the little 2ft ones that I see on my own boat!
 

BlowingOldBoots

Well-known member
Joined
5 Aug 2009
Messages
16,059
Location
Scotland.
That's what I thought! We went on a spring tide but I didn't even see anything looking like a whirlpool! I'm wondering now if we were in the correct place! I was told we were above the pinnacle!
It is much nearer the Scarba shore and more to the west, pretty obvious at Spring tides but as JD states not that spectacular. The dangerous stuff is in a westerly gale against the tide.
 

seafox67

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2017
Messages
195
Location
Greenock
It is much nearer the Scarba shore and more to the west, pretty obvious at Spring tides but as JD states not that spectacular. The dangerous stuff is in a westerly gale against the tide.
Yep, that sounds about right where he stop to take photos of an eagle! We had a westerly but not much more than 10 knots!
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
22,225
Location
SW Scotland
It is much nearer the Scarba shore and more to the west, pretty obvious at Spring tides but as JD states not that spectacular. The dangerous stuff is in a westerly gale against the tide.
When I did the rib trip the whirlpool we played in appeared quite suddenly. I suspect that if we hadn't been practically over it when it started we might have had a tame trip too. The Grey Dogs were more impressive.

By "tame", by the way, I mean "for a rib with two 200hp outboards on my back". Still not a trip I would care to do in my boat, though I have been through at slack water.

Yep, that sounds about right where he stop to take photos of an eagle! We had a westerly but not much more than 10 knots!
According to the Sea.fari skipper, buzzards are called "tourist eagles".
 

seafox67

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2017
Messages
195
Location
Greenock
When I did the rib trip the whirlpool we played in appeared quite suddenly. I suspect that if we hadn't been practically over it when it started we might have had a tame trip too. The Grey Dogs were more impressive.

By "tame", by the way, I mean "for a rib with two 200hp outboards on my back". Still not a trip I would care to do in my boat, though I have been through at slack water.



According to the Sea.fari skipper, buzzards are called "tourist eagles".
Yes, The Grey Dogs was very impressive and we visited that first so maybe I just had high expectations for Corryvreckan. I had also assumed a similar experience to the many YouTube videos and photos seen on the web. I guess mother nature isn't so predictable! LOL.
 

capnsensible

Well-known member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
Messages
28,294
Location
Atlantic
Some years ago, nipped through on a Nicholson 55. All very pleasant but not much current movement. Moderate winds.
 

AntarcticPilot

Well-known member
Joined
4 May 2007
Messages
6,999
Location
Cambridge, UK
Like many others, I've been through Corryvreckan, and if you time the tide correctly, it's an easy ride through and you wonder what all the fuss is about. But a few years later, we got weather-bound at Craobh Haven for a day; we raced the gale up past Corryvreackan and the Doruis Mor! And from Craobh haven we could easily hear the roar of Corryvreckan in the distance.; that tends to engender a certain degree of respect for it. The Grey Dogs (next passage north!) are even worse, but they are usually regarded as impassable because there are rocks close to the surface, with very strong currents setting onto them.

Corryvreckan is really known for massive standing waves, especially downstream from the pinnacle in the middle. The current gets deflected upwards by the pinnacle. You can experience whirlpools of many different dimensions almost anywhere from the approaches right through the channel itself. In fact, we noticed them more on the approach from the east - it's a little disconcerting to find that your heading is changing without any input from the helm! There is one that forms fairly regularly in the strait itself, but I gather it's not always there - and no boat like mine wants to be anywhere near it when it is!
 

Shuggy

Active member
Joined
10 Mar 2006
Messages
984
Location
Argyll
Where did you do the trip from? Ardfern? The Corryvreckan can be quite interesting if you’re in a boat that can’t beat the current. We’ve been through countless times but on a spring tide with incoming E-W tide against a W wind it can be a bit lairy. One of the most interesting passages I had was W-E which should be less scary according to the pilot books but we had quite a fun ride.


There wasn’t any wind to speak off and we were motorsailing.
 

seafox67

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2017
Messages
195
Location
Greenock
Where did you do the trip from? Ardfern? The Corryvreckan can be quite interesting if you’re in a boat that can’t beat the current. We’ve been through countless times but on a spring tide with incoming E-W tide against a W wind it can be a bit lairy. One of the most interesting passages I had was W-E which should be less scary according to the pilot books but we had quite a fun ride.


There wasn’t any wind to speak off and we were motorsailing.
The trip was from easdale. Nothing wrong with the skipper who had a powerful boat and could easily handle the current. I was just surprised that going at the best time of the month I could see no whirlpool, not even a little swirl! It was a little rough but nothing seen on videos! In fact it was much more rough on the west side once we gone through Corryvreckan.

I guess my expectation was that the whirlpool was predictable if you go at the right time on a spring tide. I'm wondering now though that you also need a bit of westerly wind to get things moving! lol...
If anyone else is planning the trip then I would recommend also a visit to the grey dog!
 
Last edited:

Shuggy

Active member
Joined
10 Mar 2006
Messages
984
Location
Argyll
I may be wrong about this, but my sense is that the tour boats tend to avoid the biggest seas so they don’t frighten people too much - for most, a tame Corryvreckan is enough to give them a flavour.
 

richardsn9

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2007
Messages
313
I may be wrong about this, but my sense is that the tour boats tend to avoid the biggest seas so they don’t frighten people too much - for most, a tame Corryvreckan is enough to give them a flavour.
There is a useful anchorage on the Jura side at the western end in reasonable weather. From there you can walk along so you can see the whirlpools at mid tide.
The Grey Dogs are much more dramatic, as it is such a narrow channel. I have taken my boat through east to west at what I thought was the right stage of the tide, but spun through 360 when I was spat out the far end 😟 If you can find a spot to drop the hook, worth viewing from the shore before attempting it.
 

AntarcticPilot

Well-known member
Joined
4 May 2007
Messages
6,999
Location
Cambridge, UK
There is a useful anchorage on the Jura side at the western end in reasonable weather. From there you can walk along so you can see the whirlpools at mid tide.
The Grey Dogs are much more dramatic, as it is such a narrow channel. I have taken my boat through east to west at what I thought was the right stage of the tide, but spun through 360 when I was spat out the far end 😟 If you can find a spot to drop the hook, worth viewing from the shore before attempting it.
I've passed the Grey Dogs when going north through the Sound of Luing, and even in good weather my reaction was "I'm not going near that!". You have my admiration for trying it. I found being spun through maybe 45 degrees as I entered the Gulf of Corryvreckan quite worrying enough!

The anchorage in the Gulf of Corryvreckan is the Bay of Pigs, at the western entrance on the Jura side. I've never used it, but am told that it is a very peaceful anchorage!
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
22,225
Location
SW Scotland
The anchorage in the Gulf of Corryvreckan is the Bay of Pigs, at the western entrance on the Jura side. I've never used it, but am told that it is a very peaceful anchorage!
I spent a night there in my Jouster once. It's a nice sheltered anchorage, but Coirebhreacan is loud!
 

Shuggy

Active member
Joined
10 Mar 2006
Messages
984
Location
Argyll
The Bay of Pigs/Pig Bay/Bagh Gleann nam Muc is a great spot but can be a bit rolly at anchor:

IMG_8531.jpeg
 
Top