Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Still Quite Bracing

Today we had a break in the weather, light winds and sunshine.  I had had a little bit too much to drink at the Sailing Club dinner last night so I wasn’t up for anything too adventurous this morning! 

We decided to paddle from Holm to Scapa.  We have paddled there lots of times before but it was nice to get out and enjoy being outdoors.  Having been away over Christmas, this was a chance to catch up with Mackayak.  I think my mouth did more work than my paddle!

The best part of the route is between Deepdale and Hemp Stack and my favourite place has a waterfall flowing into it.

IMGP0253 River paddling

The coastline along here is interesting but the formation of the rocks and perhaps the environment of the Flow mean that very few caves exist.  I thought of the use of dynamite to rectify this situation….. 

As we continued north, the wind dropped even further and the sun shone low in the sky.  The light picked out the landscape around the Flow and we could see the Royal Oak Buoy off the shore.  833 people were killed on board the ship when it was sunk by a German torpedo in 1939.  Looking at a map of the Flow, the Royal Oak doesn’t seem far from shore, looking out from the coast, the buoy seems very far away.  Imagine trying to swim all that way to safety.  There’s more about the Royal Oak and her sinking here.

IMGP0249Malcolm heads for Scapa.  The Royal Oak marker buoy is just above his bow on the surface of the water.

When we arrived at Hemp Stack, the tide was obviously fairly high and I could see water between the land and the stack – this had to be explored as it is an uncommon experience.  Unfortunately, there was not that much water and I had to shunt my way through!  Mackayak followed behind, passing through with far more grace than I could muster!

IMGP0255  Hemp Stack     

Back at Scapa, Mackayak helped me practice some Greenland skills.  I wanted to try the static brace and have a go at the butterfly roll. The water felt really cold, although I think it’s meant to be about 7 degrees at the moment.  For some reason, I could only stand a couple of dunkings before I had to get out.  How I wished for warm Mediterranean waters!

Static Flop

Another attempt

It was good to be practicing outside, but practicing skills in layers of clothes in cold water is very different from being in the nice warm pool!

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