Sunday, 12 December 2010

Winter Water

Today we got out in our boats for a nice wee paddle at the barriers.  The Churchill Barriers were built during the war by Italian prisoners of war and block four entrances to Scapa Flow.  The weather was very calm, although what wind there was was a cold northerly.  We launched from the west side of Barrier One and headed down to Barrier Three.
Mackayak and I pootled along at the back at our own speed while the others went on ahead.  I gossiped with my friend Nick and also discussed forward paddling with him.  We reached the north west of Glimps Holm where there were a few rocks to play amongst.
IMGP0070Glimps Holm
As the others passed round the headland, I got in position to take a few snaps.
IMGP0073Malc and Mackayak
 IMGP0071 Johnny
IMGP0072 Jackie and Nick
We reached the third barrier where we portaged across the barrier and the road and reconvened on the nice sandy beach on the other side.  After a spot of lunch, we headed back towards the first barrier, passing by the block ship with mast intact at Barrier Two.  Rounding Lamb Holm the bite to the wind was noticeable but we tucked ourselves in under the First Barrier and made our way back to the cars. It wasn't a long paddle but was just right for Peter and his recovering clavicle on a winter's afternoon- daylight is short at the moment!
In the evening, we were back in the pool for the last session with our beginners. We recapped sculling draw and forward paddling before introducing stern rudder and low brace. Everyone did really well. To finish off, we had a game of polo, there were a few capsizes but everyone had fun. A nice end to a fun block.
Oh... and it's not easy to type a blog with a cat sitting on your hands!