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Tidal Streams: EASTERN COAST OF SCOTLAND
Eastern Coast of Scotland – The general direction of the south-going stream, southward of Duncansby head, is along the coast to beyond Wick, thence across Moray firth nearly due southward, striking upon the southern shore, in the neighbourhood of Cullen, where it divides, one portion setting westward, and gaining little in velocity till far removed from the point of separation; and the other, turning eastward out of the firth, soon attains the strength of the average stream.
Inshore, on the northern side of the Moray firth, both the south-going and the north-going streams follow the direction of the coast, and turn about an hour before and 5 hours after, respectively, high water at Dover. About 2 miles offshore they turn one hour later. Off Cullen, on the southern shore, where the south-going stream divides, the stream sets slowly eastward; off Banff, the east-going stream, continues until 2 hours after high water at Dover. Six miles off Kinnairds head the stream sets southward until about 3 hours after high water at Dover.
The rate of the stream varies; off Clyth ness and the Ord of Caithness, on the north-western shore, it runs 3 knots at springs, and 1½ at neaps. In the body of Moray firth, the maximum rate is about three-quarters of a knot, occurring at high water at Dover; off Cullen the east-going stream increases its rate as it advances. Off Kinnairds head it has attained the rate of 2 knots at springs, and is still further accelerated off Rattray head, the point of junction with the direct stream from Duncansby head. More definite information will be found in the atlas of Tidal streams.
At the head of Moray firth, when above Nairn, the streams set eastward and westward, and neither the direction or rate are much affected by the wind; but in westerly gales, a belt 3 or 4 miles broad, is driven without intermission eastward, along the southern shore from Nairn to Troup head, while at the same time a counter stream is setting westward in the centre of the firth.
At about 4 miles off Peterhead and Buchan ness the south-going stream begins 2 hours before, and the north-going stream 3½ hours after high water at Dover, their maximum rate at springs being 2½ knots.
Off Girdle ness the south-going stream begins 2½ hours before high water at Dover; at springs, it attains a rate of 2½, and at neaps of 1½ knots. It runs across the mouth of Montrose harbour and past Red head until nearly 4 hours after high water at Dover.
About 2 miles eastward of the Bell rock lighthouse the south-going stream begins at high water at Dover, and runs until 6 hours after; but between Bell rock and Fife ness it changes 2 hours earlier. Eastward of Fife ness and North Carr rock, the south-going stream begins half an hour after, and the north-going stream at 5½ hours before high water at Dover.
About 5 miles off St. Abbs head, the south-going stream begins at high water, and the north-going stream 5¾ hours before high water at Dover.
MORAY FIRTH TIDAL STREAMS
Tidal streams. – On the north-western side of the firth, southward of Tarbet ness, the south-west-going stream begins at 5½ hours before, and runs until one hour after, high water at Dover. There is generally slack water for about an hour when the north-east-going stream ceases, but there is little or none between the end of the south-west-going stream and the beginning of the north-east-going. Except near spring tides, the south-west-going stream is less strong than the north-east going, and during the prevalence of southerly winds the south-west-going stream is not felt at all.
The turn of the streams, duration of slack, and the rate at which they run are all considerably affected by wind and weather; the rate at springs is about one knot, and at neaps about half a knot.
CROMATY FIRTH TIDAL STREAMS
Tidal streams. – In the entrance and up the firth to the anchorage off Invergordon, the west-going stream usually begins 5¼ hours before, and the east-going stream, a quarter of an hour before high water at Invergordon, or half an hour later, subject to wind and weather, but the time the west-going stream begins varies considerably. The rate of both streams is about 1½ knots at springs, but immediately abreast Cromarty the rate of the east-going stream is 2 knots at springs, and causes rough water at the landing place with strong westerly winds.
About 2 cables westward of the light-buoy outside the entrance the flood stream sets south-westward, or diagonally across the entrance, which must be allowed for both on entering and leaving; the ebb stream sets eastward; both streams attain a rate of about 1½ knots.