Monday, February 23, 2009

Goats Galore!

Launching with the falling tide from Laxey Beach, there was little evidence of the strong Westerlie wind lifting the sea on other stretches of coast. A Cormorant dived and surfaced briefly before diving again, and a Grey Seal copied its antics nearby. Another group of complete beginners enjoyed their first trip on the 'Discover Sea Kayaking' course, heading South round the rocky protrusions, past the waterfall and occasional pairs of Oyster Catchers observing from the boulders at the waters edge. After a break and some dry land practice, we used the shallow bay with excellent water clarity to continue practice, and were joined by the 'Novice' group before all heading back towards the layers of shingle beach, now exposed down to the sandy platform at its base.

A treat was in store for the 'Intermediate' paddle, heading north beneath the towering cliffs, looking out for the sometimes illusive Wild Goats. Just round from the harbour we spied a young 'kid' bleating apparently stuck in a steep gully, watched by the parent goats from the sheer rocky step above. As another ridiculous rescue plan formulated in my mind (or at least the basic concept of assistance with no actual plan) we waited to see if it was in any trouble. The youngster slowly made its zig zag way upwards, constantly looking up - seeking assurance from its folks, and looking back with distain at the colourful array of kayaks. The difference between these wild looking, sure footed mountain goats and the dim witted half-grown sheep we have removed from difficulty on occasions on the West coast are vast. So the group continued paddling, and we made a mental note to check it on our return journey.

A challenging paddle ensued to Port Moor, with the distinctive lighthouse on Maughold Head visible and getting larger as we rounded each headland. Then a favourite part to Adventure Club paddles as the cake, hot drinks and other home-made delights were unearthed from kayak hatches and the 'happy tent' was on standby in case anyone was cold :)
We enjoyed the tail wind on the way back, and as evening drew on, pairs and small groups of goats were seen right along the coast, as the season for 'kids' to arrive is here and the goat community splits up to give birth and rear their young.
Spring is demonstrating her positive influence on the natural environment, and I leave the skylight open in the evenings to wake up to the excited twitter of small birds. Snowdrops and Bluebells in the glens precede the vast array of daffodills and primroses lining the roadsides. On and off the water, folk are 'waking up' to spring and getting active. Its going to be a very busy and constructive 2009!

Check our Schedule for adventures we are running this week.

No comments: