I didn't start my odyssey here, I started on Tiree, but Machrihanish is the most southerly beach I surfed on the Scottish mainland. It sits on the Mull of Kintyre, catching any swell that manages to squeak through the narrow gap between Ireland and the island of Islay.
From the carpark, you have to walk through the village and down across the golf course, right in front of one of the tees.
With several miles of beach stretching ahead of the tee, it must be the biggest bunker in the world. Sure enough, while I warmed up, a golfer was desperately trying to hack his ball back onto dry land. Serves him right for playing golf.
The breaks at Machrihanish and Westport are apparently popular with students at Glasgow University, still a good two to three hour drive away. But on a grey, wet Monday morning, there was just a dozing seal in the water. It didn't realise I was there until I was almost upon it, then it gave a startled snort and slipped beneath the surface, popping up a couple of times to see who had disturbed its nap.
The curve at the southern end of the bay meant that the south-easterly wind was slightly off-shore, cleaning up the swell to create nice, long, shoulder-high left hand waves, with the occasional shorter right when the strong current got the better of me. It's mostly a sandy bottom, with intermittent patches of largish boulders. Unfortunately my official photographer wasn't prepared to stray too far from the comfort of the van, so although I caught some decent waves, they weren't recorded for posterity.
But I bet the seal was impressed.