With the recession deepening, my finances stretched to the limit & my van still off the road is it any wonder that I take to the sea for contemplation & escape from life's bumfluff!
Alone on the sea your thoughts turn to weather, tide, sea state & bearings. life's troubles just drift away in the rhythm of each stroke of the blade & the gentle lapping of the passing water.
Distances are measured by strokes, sweat & aching muscles & new places of discovery by the smile on your face. Thats what I needed today, a smile on my face, a new horizon & with wavelets forecast I knew exactly where to go evan if it was gonna be a bit of a long paddle.
It was with this in mind that I headed for Sully (again) but this time my ambitions were bigger & a long held dream was likely to be realised before the day was out. all going to plan, England beckoned.
Baby steps to start with, I was to play stepping stones on the Celtic Sea. First a familiar trip to Steep Holm. No vectors required here, I just pointed my compass at a reliable aim off location on the English side & used that as my bearing. Familiarity has its benefits.
Arriving at Steep Holm there was a little tide running in the race but nothing to worry about. I was relishing the solitude on the way out here & the freedom to paddle without the constraints of slower paddlers, averaging 8.5KMH (4.5 knots).
I land for a wee break, excuse the pun :)
Before heading off into unchartered water I decided to play it safe so quickly worked out a vector to reach Brean Down. I'd decided to be more dynamic in my planning so worked out a detailed tidal plan at home & used it on location if & when I felt vectors were needed.
Looking back at an unfamiliar but most welcome veiw.
Getting very excited now, from Steep Holm, Brean is only 3 miles but theres a lot of tide out here.
My vector bearing was perfect bringing me directly to the tip of Brean Down & into some very interesting tidal currents. Because it was so calm today I could easily see the flow & eddies. Evan offshore there effect was dramatic. Pushing into the flow I'd make about 3KMH whereas just to the side in a back eddy I'd shoot upto 7KMH.
This KMH stuff is new to me at the mo, I normally rely on Knots but am learning to use KMH to use with OS maps.
I make an awkward rock landing to stretch my legs & have a quick look around. I'm no stranger to Brean Down however, I just havent kayaked here before.
There are some very impressive victorian battlements now owned by the national trust & open to the public.
This track was used for an experimental bomb that never really worked. The bomb would propel down the track in a cart before the sudden stop at the end that propelled the bomb into the sea.
Notice how the waves have folded the roof back on this lookout tower.
Another vector bearing to get me back to steep holm.
It was a hard slog as I was ferrying across the still flooding tide. Proper sweating & only managing 6KMH.
I make the most of the Island for a well earned breather.
Before continuing once more into very familiar water. No vectors required for this short 3 mile crossing. No effort either, I was taking it easy now & just enjoying the paddle.
I lap the Island & choose to land on the West side in full sun & the lee of the wind. The tide had just started to turn as I arrived here, the whole trip so far had been done on the flood.
The trip back to Sully was so familiar to me now that I felt no need to rush & chilled on the beach for half an hour before getting underway.
Arriving back at Sully I was feeling very pleased with myself. This was a massive trip, not in distance but in what it meant to me as I've wanted to do it for so long.
Trip Odometer 32.6 KM (17.6 Nautical Miles)
Max Speed 13 KMH (7 knots)
Moving Average 7.1 KMH (3.8 knots)
Time Moving 04:37:00
cracking day out! I should be back on the water this weekend after 5 weeks enforced layoff... excited!ReplyDelete
Hey Mike, glad you'll be back out on the water. I'll have to try & get South soon so we can go for a paddle.ReplyDelete
You know you miss my rude jokes ;D
Having an island to myself for the day appeals to the little dictator in me!ReplyDelete
Nice work! I bet Weston looked very tempting?ReplyDelete