First up were a pair of Palm Palmless mitts, topped by my super duper new pogies, Palm River Tec Paddle Mitts. Both were purchased from Up and Under in Wales who I have always found to give excellent service. Given that I live on an island, classed by most couriers as remoter than the Arctic, getting things here is not always easy (or cheap). Howeve, Up and Under always seem to apply sense to their postal policies, even for larger items like paddles.
Anyway, back to the hands. I found the pogies to be deliciously warm, if a little restrictive once inside. I like to take photos and use my hands when paddling so it was a bit strange for them to be so encased in material. However, the fleece lining and drawstring cuff certainly kept my hands both warm and dry, so much so that I had to take them off! They were however, passed to a fellow paddler who had worryingly cold hands. He said they were really great, I wasn't sure I'd get them back!
Sans pogies, I was down to the Palmless Mitts. I hadn't used these before but found they suited me perfectly. A bit cold when stopped or if putting them back on when wet but after a few minutes they seemed to warm up. When I was moving, they were ideal and kept my hands at a good temperature. I also liked being able to get my fingers out quickly, making it easier to take photos or have something to eat. I often find wearing gloves when paddling very uncomfortable but the palmlessness of the mitts meant I didn't really notice I was wearing them after a while. My only slight issue is that some of the stitching already looks a bit frayed but I'll keep and eye on this over the winter.
Traffic chaos has abatted slightly here today, but the pavements and roads are still fairly treacherous, covered as they are in half frozen slushy icy horridness. But if you aren't trying to go anywhere, Orkney looks very picturesque at the moment and this was the view I got when opening the curtains this morning.
Wideford Hill from Kirkwall