Ocean Vertical is an adventure company based in Scotland. We have a fairly simple philosophy: a deep respect for wilderness and the natural world, a love for silent sports with no motors involved and a passion for real adventures in the mountains and oceans.
We specialise in paddle boarding SUP, coasteering, surfing, climbing and mountaineering, 365 days a year. We are based in East Lothian, 25 miles east of Edinburgh.
We have the most spectacular, wild and rugged coastline with miles of beaches; our locations for paddle boarding, coasteering and surfing. There’s great rock climbing too. And in the colder months we lead mountaineering adventures to the highlands of Scotland.
Wilderness is at the heart of everything we do. We recognise that a love for our beautiful wild places demands active participation in the fight to save them. All of our equipment is ethically sourced, reused and recycled.
We support initiatives and activism that reach out to protect our beautiful wild landscapes and the wonderful creatures that inhabit them. Why wouldn’t you?
And so to coasteering. What exactly is coasteering, and why do we do it? Good questions. The National Coasteering Charter describes coasteering as "exploring and journeying through the impact zone between the levels of high and low, often including total immersion in seawater”. OK, what is the National Coasteering Charter? Well put simply it’s a national body established to promote safe coasteering.
Our guides have been instrumental in creating safe coasteering in Scotland since 2014 and are proud to be part of the National Coasteering Charter. Our lead guide, Stevie Boyle, was the regional representative for the east of Scotland, and now sits on a working group creating a guide qualifications framework.
And why do we do it? For us coasteering is a journey, a mission into one of the last real wildernesses: We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about what’s under the surface of the ocean. We venture into that inaccessible zone exposed at low tide, climbing, scrambling, swimming, jumping, rock hopping and bombing.
We explore semi-submerged gullies; sinkholes, newly exposed islands and outcrops, kelp beds and aquatic wildlife, constantly moving through swell zones and overspills. It’s a journey few have ever done, and its a privilege.
Of course travelling into this new world needs specialist equipment and new skills. Here’s what we kit our clients out with; a robust limestone based wetsuit. We choose this for its warmth and environmental credentials over the more common petroleum based neoprene suits.
Specialist boots designed for the water that have a firm sole for gripping onto wet rocks. Gloves for gripping onto wet rocks. A snug fitting buoyancy aid, and a specialist helmet designed for salt-water submersion.
We keep our client groups small, no more than 6, for a more engaging and personal experience. We kick off with a few basic skills and techniques, entering and exiting the ocean with smaller jumps and scrambles. We work as a team building skills and confidence as we journey further into the last wilderness.
And of course the jumps. Jumping is part of the journey, not the single reason we go coasteering. We gradually build up height, starting low with no pressure to go high: challenge through choice, your own level of adventure. As we journey jumps can be a couple of meters leading up to as much as 10m. That’s the height of two and a half storey building.
Through local knowledge and experience we choose our locations carefully and can respond on the day to the weather and tides. This is of course a low tide adventure when nature exposes her sub ocean world. We are also constantly aware of respecting wildlife, such as nesting birds and seals with young pups. Its their home, we are just guests.
We focus on areas east of North Berwick, Seacliff Beach and Dunbar. Over years we’ve built up detailed knowledge of the sub ocean topography, water depths, hidden channels and submerged islands all there to be discovered and explored.
Many of these rocky outcrops were of course the playground of a young John Muir, before his American odyssey led him to found the National Parks system in America; the godfather of conservation.
We are privileged to share these experiences with coastal and marine wildlife; we often see dolphins and almost always bob in the water with seals. Puffins and gannets wiz over our heads, and the Bass Rock is a constant wherever we go. Closer up we see sea sponges, sea anemone, urchins and starfish hidden away in the micro world of the intertidal zone.
We are always conservation and education minded; the ocean produces over 50% of the planets oxygen, and the more we know about it, the more we can protect it.
If you fancy an adventure into the final frontier get in touch with us: