My name is Alice McInnes, and I’m a sea kayak coach and guide based in Edinburgh. My local waters are the Firth of Forth and the coastlines of East Lothian. I also frequently paddle on the west coast of Scotland in locations such as Bute, Arran, the Cumbraes, Oban, the Slate Islands (i.e Seil, Easdale Luing), Skye and Shetland.
- UKCC Level 2 kayak coach
- Advanced Sea kayak leader aspirant
- 3 star white water kayak
- Outdoor First Aid (REC level two)
- Foundation PaddleAbility
I am a founder of the Women’s Sea Kayak Festival, an all-female event which helps promote female paddlers on and off the water with an all-female coaching crew.
Started in 2012, it is Scotland’s only all-female sea kayaking event, and has proven that there is both interest and demand for female-specific events and for female voices on the water. I am passionate about helping more women get out and enjoy time on the water. A spin-off sister festival now runs in Devon.
The UK and Scotland has arguably the best sea kayaking in the world. I am lucky to have paddled many areas, including:
- North-west Scotland
- Clyde and the Cumbraes – Bute and Arran, Great Cumbrae and Wee Cumbrae
- Firth of Forth and East Lothian – the islands of the Forth, including Bass Rock, St Abbs
- Firth of Lorn – Lismore, Shuna
- Summer Isles
- Small Isles – Rum , Eigg, Canna
- Isles of Scilly
- The Farne islands
- North Wales
- Brittany’s surf and tideraces.
The story so far…
I started sea kayaking in 2009, having spent many years in the mountains walking, climbing and biking. I fell in love with sea kayaking and the sport that gives you 360 degree views, encounters with marine life, weather that can be literally thrown at you, access to the most fantastic beaches in the country, and a friendly international community of fellow paddlers.
My aim is to paddle around the entire coastline of Scotland. In 2016 I paddled from Skye to Thurso and in 2017 made it around Dunscansby Head and hope to enjoy every km as I continue my journey.
In 2017, I took the option of redundancy from a job in a well-known bank in Edinburgh, and swapped my office chair for a kayak seat and my spreadsheets for a OS map, and I am pursuing my passion for kayaking and the outdoors.
I also paddle rivers and understand the value of continual learning. I’ve completed a course on coastal Interpretation, understanding weather and climate and tidal habitat.
I’m an active member of the Lothian Sea Kayak Club and the online community SSKEG (Scottish Sea Kayaking E-group).