Saturday, 9 January 2010

Stripy Dolphins off Burray

We couldn’t really decide where to go today, the wind was SEish but there was a big swell around the coasts.  Much debate was undertaken throughout the week but upon my arrival fashionably late at the carpark, Johnny said ‘Roseness’ which sounded as good a plan as any.  By then I had worked out that I had lost my voice so I wasn’t really in any position to argue!!IC Italian Chapel

So off we toddled to the 1st barrier, and launched at the south end of the barrier on Lamb Holm, just near the Italian Chapel.

We had 7 bodies out and there were folks from both clubs.  We headed to Couse Point at which point the fetch up Holm Sound could be seen to be generating some fairly exciting water and we could see the spray off Roseness quite clearly.  We decided instead to head straight into the wind towards Burray so that we could get blown home again.

Today’s pictures are really crap, so I apologise!

IMGP0651 Cathy and Johnny punch through the wavesIMGP0650 Peter off to Burray

We had lots of fun bouncing over the waves and Harry got a good old wetting.  I was trying desperately to give coaching tips across the waves in a very husky voice!  First time I’ve had to carry Strepsils in my deckbag! 

We rounded the point of Burray Haas and headed across Bu Bay with a view to landing at a sheltered spot.  It was this point we saw the disputed identity mammals.  At first they were quite far away, but soon they came in closer and we saw them for at least 5 minutes.  One surfaced just in front of Peter W and he is sure they were stripy dolphins.  White beaked or Atlantic white sided perhaps.  I thought dolphins were bigger so Johnny and I decided they were porpoises, but frankly my identification of marine mammals is woefully poor.  This dolphin is small, this dolphin is far away…..Dolphin or porpoise, they were a truly lovely sight and made the paddle for everyone.  I did try to take a picture but failed.

IMGP0656Johnny surfs his way home

After a splendid picnic of apple and cinnamon pancakes, scones, fruit quarters, fruit loaf, all with butter and jam (served on plates!)and washed down with a nice cup of tea, we headed towards home again.  Unfortunately my mobile toasting device (a blow torch) was thoroughly unsuccessful.  The mid paddle, rapid production, of toasted fruity baked goods clearly needs more research.

Heading back, we had the wind behind us and I had fun surfing along on the waves.  Not everyone was as comfortable but they all made it to calmer waters safely and without incident.  I caught my best wave just as I rounded Couse Point and wasn’t trying to catch one at all.  Of course I surfed straight towards the rocks and had to jam in a good hard stern rudder to avoid them.

We landed in what was pretty much the dark but it was a really nice afternoon out and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.  It was lovely to paddle with the KKC paddlers too.

The only casualty of the day was my skeg wire which I have managed to bend, thus rendering skeg inoperable.  Very annoying!

And no, I still can’t talk…..090110 This is where I think we went…..


  1. very neat story on the Italian Chapel. Speaks volumes of the Scottish people when POW's leave tearful!

    My great aunt who lived next door to me in NFLD growing up was a war bride my uncle brought home from scotland. A real wonderful woman.

  2. sounds like a great outing, what camera are you using?

  3. Dolphins! I want to see dolphins! Have only seen them from the shore. Have seen lots of porpoises from the kayak though. Both are a treat.

    Like the nod to Father Ted :)

  4. I saw big dolphins off Unst last July, but this was the first time I've seen any in Orkney, although we did see some porpoises in the Flow during November. Really lovely to see and I am sure they like to play with the kayaks.