Sunday, 7 November 2010

Novice Paddler

After several months of not paddling on any trips, today I made the effort and went along.  I don’t know what put me off paddling, I think I tried to do too much and burnt out.  My enthusiasm for paddling dwindled to nothing which was very strange indeed.IMGP0276An unusual sight

Having not paddled for so long, I knew I would hold everyone up and that I wouldn’t manage to do too much, so I requested a short paddle going with the wind.  We plumped for Sandwick to Moi Geo in South Ronaldsay.  When we arrived at Sandwick, the wind had really picked up and seemed to be coming straight into the shore.  I had to confess that I didn’t think I’d manage into the wind, so we decided to go to the east side instead.      IMGP0281 Dennis explores the coastIMGP0282Malcolm and Ansgar IMGP0283Malcolm below the cliffs

We launched from Pool of Cletts with the intention of heading to Windwick Bay.  This is one of my favourite pieces of coastline, some what geologically different to other places, giving interesting caves, tunnels, stacks and rocks.

We were going to paddle south so we knew that we would have to go into the wind to begin with, but hoped for shelter under the cliffs.IMGP0286Tunnel in


Tunnel out

Turning the corner to Windwick meant we were going straight into the wind.  It was HARD work!  I was glad of a rest…IMGP0295Malcolm, half dead NK and Dennis stop for lunch

After lunch we set off for home.  From no where, a significant wind chop had built up, or as Malcolm put it ‘there’s a bit of a swell on’.  Fortunately, the now increasing wind was either behind us or coming from the side so it wasn’t a struggle to paddle against, but the large steep seas were very off putting.  I was OK, but found myself tensing up, when I knew that was the worst thing to do.  More than once I thought I was going in.

In order to add a bit of spice to the proceedings and to make sure my ‘first’ paddle was a memorable one, Dennis decided to throw himself in and test our rescue and leadership skills in more challenging conditions.  After strong direction from Ansgar and a bit of a team effort, we got Dennis back in the boat and sorted out. 

We were then blown in towards the shore, landing just before twilight.  A memorable paddle indeed!