With a lift from John the next day to the boats we met with Bruce Waddecar another sea kayaker. The Internet is a great way to meet like minded people.
The wind was whipping up and the morning was slightly miserable with many white horses and a crackle of rain on my hood the wind blowing making me slightly nervous about what could happen if tits went skywards.
We launched at low tide and it was a bit of an effort to drag the boats down to the water through the thin mud layer, slipping about gaining little purchase in some places as the wheels stuck in the mud.
I looked out and knew this wasn’t going to be an easy paddle for the Morning and was wondering what the Taran would act like full, in a big swell and a strong tail wind. Well we were off. It looked better out to sea where the waves were not refracting around the headlands and there was no clapotice.
Out we went avoiding the headlands. The waves would occasionally break but we were avoiding these and several times the spray deck was swamped and the nose of the boat would bury itself. The secondary stability of the Taran is great and the use of the rudder in these conditions works well as the gusts on the top of a wave have the tendency to swing it a little but no more than some of the other boats I have paddled and with a quick push on the peddles the rudder kicks in and it’s back on course.
Bruce was going to turn round and get back to his van at the halfway point. “Good luck to him” i thought. So we said goodbye not really able to hear much above the wind and waves, katie and I paddled on. This was fun. I like the rough weather feel and love just sitting in the waves, feeling the power and taking in the way the sea moves. Katie however just paddles like a warrior in these conditions so I have to keep up with her dainty bobbing and speedy moves. My boat is quite heavy but suprisingly agile but steady in the rough.
There was a moment where a gull swooped between us and it dropped its legs and ran it feet plopping in the water. This had me laughing and im still smiling about that funny little moment. Simple things in life.
Through the rough weather the lighthouse started to appear and we had made it. Still keeping out from the cliff we rounded the lighthouse and there was sheltered water and the entrance to the harbour. A massive swanky boat was berthed up and looked like new. Katie though this was the ferry. Some people ehh? I think I would rather have the rougher side of the journey. Camping, sweaty, smelly, eating food with a long spoon. Suits me.
We pulled up into the harbour and contacted the harbour on VHF. They said there was 3 kayaks and we were suprised as there was two of us. Then two people came down and were really helpful. Low and behold Bruce turned up. Whoa what a ride he must of had. We chatted to the harbour guys and found somewhere to bed the boats down. As we walked into town Bruce had his lift pick him up.
Then a massive stroke of luck the harbour had contacted a guy who said we could put the tent up in his garden. Bonus, the garden was at the lighthouse how amazed I felt, sleeping under a lighthouse this would be a night to remember. For a long time I had wondered about lighthouses and the gentleman took us in and gave us tea too. What a great guy. How amazing was that. There was a free hot shower at the boat club. Yay. That was awesome.
Katie had had a problem with her wisdom tooth so we searched down a dentist. The evening was spent in a restaurant, it was my birthday meal and I filled myself to the brim. What a day in all and even slept under a lighthouse.