Thursday, September 01, 2011

Double open crossing

I woke the girls at 3:45am in the morning.
We had loaded the Mighty Triton's on the trailer last night, after Coach development at Peel.
Katia and Alice had been baking flapjacks (Katia's our regular supplier for the Adventure Club sessions) as well as preparing pasta for the journey...

Setting off with the last couple of hours off the ebb, maximum spring tides (8m range on the Isle of Man).
A small amount of surf at the Point of Ayre, darkness and bouncy conditions for the first hour soon gave way soft grey colours and the F2-3 headwind and conditions lessened throughout the next 10 miles.
 Our team of Alice and myself, Katia and George averaged 5mph (including breaks) and the Isle of Man grew steadily smaller and less detailed behind us. We met a seal right in the middle, just there by himself.
 The last hour was particularly tough against strong tide, and the light headwind kept us cool. Progress at this point was painfully slow, but our target slowly grew in detail.
 Arriving at the Isle of Whithorn, a fishing village in Scotland at 10:30am, the 20 mile crossing had taken 4 and half hours, and the girls were ready for a break. (Me and George were ready for a banquet!) : )
Having changed into dry clothes, strewn gear out on the rocky beach to dry, we were heaping pasta and water into ourselves, and then took a stroll round the harbour to the Steam Packet Inn where we enjoyed an energy providing ice-cream. It was then back to the kayaks, setting off again at 12:30.
 We took some stunning footage along the way, stopping for a break every hour, and taking on some water which had constantly been flowing out of us every paddle stroke : )
 Saw 4 small pods of Porpoise, over the duration of the crossing, the first of them close enough to capture on the video, the last pod just of the Isle of Man, welcoming us home...
 As always, we enjoyed some strenuous kayaking pushing our physical strength for the last hour and 40 minutes. The return route took us much wider, finally heading to the beach some miles South of the Point.
Quick break, then paddled back up to the truck and trailer, with a welcome from Alice's family, with flasks of tea. A superb and strenuous day!! We had paddled over 42 miles, the return trip taking 4 hours and 40 mins. 
Very impressed with the girls (aged 12 & 15) - that was a mighty undertaking!

ps. footage on the way...

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