Sunday, 20 December 2009

White (almost) Christmas

Today I awoke to more snow on the garden but as the winds were fairly light(ish), I decided that Cinderella would indeed go to the ball or whatever the kayaking equivalent is.

Festive headwear
After some fairly hairy moments trying to drive across town (Nissan Micras are not meant for snow...), I arrived at the car park to find 2 other brave souls also keen to paddle.  After much deliberation, we thought we had a plan but upon closer inspection, decided that the sea and wind were not conducive to plan A.  Plan B was duly formed and we made our way back to Hatston slip and decided that we would make our way from Kirkwall to Finstown.  The gastronomic options were also considered and seemed satisfactory!

Sledge and slipway

Having tried to use Ansgar's boat as a sledge, we set off, with a following wind and a little bit of a following sea as we left Kirkwall Bay.  We passed under Hatston Pier and carried on along the shore.  We decided that this wasn't perhaps a paddle we'd want to do in summer, but it was nice to be out and the snow made the scenery all the more interesting.  None of us had paddled from Kirkwall to Finstown before so it was another section of coastline visited!  I very much enjoyed the following wind and sea as I do like playing in the waves!

Under Hatston Pier

Peter with wind and waves behind him
Ansgar in the waves

At one point, a snow shower caused the wind to increase and we had to work quite hard into a head wind.  Stopping for a quick cuppa, we carried on and the wind dropped greatly.  As we approached Finstown, we debated as to whether there were lights on in the cafe.  Deciding that it was indeed open, we landed in an adjacent garden and hot footed it in.  Warm drinks appeared as soon as we said we'd kayaked in, closely followed by a hearty burger.  We were even given Christmas crackers!  Thank you to Peter for buying the lunch!
The Waterside, Finstown - a welcome sight!
By the time we had finished our repass, the snow had fallen further, making the shuttle to get home rather interesting!  We must have looked a little odd bundling a kayak into the back of a van as it stopped on the main road!  Our journey home was very slow and slightly frightening as the car went sideways round a few corners but we made it safely and all had enjoyed the day.  Great to see OSKA and KKC members paddling together!

Boats await collection in the snow

The route

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