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Findhorn Bay

Tidal bowl shaped bay with a narrow inlet, useable +/- 3 hours from high tide.
Submitted by:
16th Aug 2004
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parking camping cafes toilets dogs
Photo of Findhorn Bay beach - Map of Findhorn Bay
 Findhorn Bay
 by: IainO
Photo of Findhorn Bay beach - IainO at Findhorn Bay 1994
 Findhorn Bay
 by: IainO

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Findhorn Bay is situated at the mouth of the River Findhorn about 10 miles west of Lossiemouth. It has a narrow mouth widening out into a large bowl which is sailable approximately 3 hours either side of high tide. As you can imagine with the volume of water that has to pass through the narrow inlet the tidal flow is pretty fast, up to 8 knots on a spring tide.


Most people launch from the grassed area in front of the Kimberley Inn (Excellent beer and Chicken Tikka), near the mouth of the bay. This faces SW so the prevailing SW winds make it tricky getting down to the bowl (left) especially as there is quite a shadow created by Culbin Forest for about 400m. The shore is pebbles for most of the tide with sand at low tide. In the summer there are a lot of boats anchored with rowing tenders attached to the shore by fin grabbing loops of rope (I have come very close to taking a knife to those ropes after one catapult too many).
Others park at the birdwatchers carpark on the entrance to the village and wade out to launch - lots of walking involved there.


Very much like a tidal lake i.e. gusty!!
The exceptions to this are a NW on an ebb tide gives cross shore, wind against tide flat water blasting straight across the bay. An ideal opportunity to show off those freestyle tricks to spectators on the piers. SE and an incoming tide conversely give cross shore from the left but the wind generates a swell from the southern end of the bay making for some great bump and jump sailing without having to bother going upwind.
E - N is offshore with a shadow created by the village - best go to Findhorn Beach (sea front) or Lossiemouth.
W-S are varying degrees of onshore where the sailors head down to the bowl for cleaner winds - advantages are that it's waist deep, disadvantages are that you can run aground very quickly.


Low tide throws up all sorts of hidden obstacles that have made their way down the River Findhorn (trees etc). Also watch out for the mussel beds - razor sharp if you hit them and they're protected by a conservation order, check them out at low tide. Fast moving tides can catch you out if the wind dies but it's not a problem to swim ashore with your kit. Finally watch out for seals, there's a large colony that bask at the mouth of the bay. They'll usually stay out of your way but occasionally an inquisitive one will pop his head up as you're steaming towards him at 30 knots!!
Best to chat to the local sailors who tend to congregate at the Kimberly for a post session pint.

Other Facilities:

There is B+B available at the Crown & Anchor and both pubs do good food. A post office and general store is on the High Street and there is a Yacht Chandlery about 100m up the bay from the main launch area (not windsurf specific but sells wetsuits, rope etc) As I mentioned in the Lossiemouth report there is a Windsurf Shop called Nairn Watersports about 15 miles to the West. Toilet facilities are available in the pubs but the Crown & Anchor Landlord can be a bit funny if you are not buying drinks. Finally there is the famous Findhorn Foundation - a commune with an open centre dedicated to all things new age and conservation, an interesting place if there's no wind (they own the wind turbine).

Overall this is a good place to sail in any wind with South in it as the rest of the coast is North facing. It's generally flat water but good fun and a very sociable bunch of local sailors.
Sports Suitability
Surfing thumbs_down
Surf Conditions at Findhorn Bay are Not Good
Buggying thumns_down
Buggying Conditions at Findhorn Bay are Not Good
Windsurfing starstarstar
Windsurfing Conditions at Findhorn Bay can be Excellent
Kitesurfing Conditions at Findhorn Bay are Unknown
Wind Suitability
Windsurfing at Findhorn Bay Kitesurfing at Findhorn Bay
NW   N   NE
SW   S   SE
NW   N   NE
SW   S   SE

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