Saturday, 6 March 2010

Warm water rolling and cave exploration

Last night we had another sea boat session in the swimming pool.  I didn’t realise I was an attendee until about an hour before so had no time to stress.  I got in my boat and I rolled it but it was heavy and awkward and I felt I was muscling it up.  Then it failed.  Confidence drained and I thought I was never going to get a bomb proof roll.  Luckily, amongst the spectators was a fine coach and he had my number straight away.  “Go and roll with an extended paddle and get the feeling of sweeping round and your head coming up last”.  So I went away and took hold of my blade in one hand and swept, then I did it again… and again… and again… then I moved my hand to the other end of the blade and swept again… and again… and again…  The feeling of the head coming up last and the correct finish position clicked again so when I took the plunge and tried a roll with normal hand position it was effortless and smooth.  Now I’m itching to get back into the pool and to try again.IMGP1060Sea boats lurk in the undergrowth

Today we paddled from Dingieshowe to Howes Wick east of Holm.  It was a stretch of coastline that I hadn’t seen all of and had only visited occasionally.  It was a fine day for some cave exploration with only a little bit of swell around. The first problem was getting the boats to the water. Then there was the problem of getting to the key in order to lock the vanIMGP1063Where’s the key?

Soon, however, we had shuttled and organised and were on the water.   The caving opportunities did not disappoint.  We explored several tunnels and passages, a particularly fine example being Notster where a large cave leads to a passage through the headland.IMGP1072Exploration

Nearing the end of our trip, we reached the Roseness Gloup.  We debated whether we knew its proper name before deciding that since it was a gloup and was in Roseness, Roseness Gloup is as good a name as any.      IMGP1086 “It’s dark in here”IMGP1092Opening to the sky IMGP1096Light at the end of the tunnel 

There were several landmarks visible today.  We got splendid views over to Copinsay – another trip I must complete and the Roseness Beacon was as conspicuous as ever.  I asked my paddling companions if they knew what it commemorates but neither did.  A search of the internet suggests no one really knows but it is thought that it may mark a shipwreck and loss of several sailors and was erected at the turn of last century. 

Roseness was benign today, but not somewhere I’d want to be in a south easterly.IMGP1097CopinsayIMGP1106Roseness Beacon

The last 2 km back to the car were a killer – broken skeg and beam wind and waves.

A fine wee paddle, as they say.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, I agree with the head thing on the rolling, most of the failed rolls are due to the damn head coming up first and its hard to learn to control, but once its taken care of all rolls become easier. Nice pics of the caves too