Today was the biggest sea and the longest range of big stuff that had been paddled so far. Today was good.
So leaving the shelter of the small bay we left early to catch the last of the tide round Strathy Point. We paddled round at slack and the wind was coming from the north so no particular help in paddling it just made the waves bigger. A nice bumpy ride and we easily passed and rounded the point catching waves and taking us into the bay. We landed in a small sheltered slipway at Portskera. There we were met by some gentlemen one who took great pleasure in inviting us in for tea with cheese and biscuits. They even dropped us at the pub. We walked back and got back on the water. There was much debate about the wind but we decided to press on. We all knew the paddle would be demanding but I’m not sure we would of done it if we knew it would be as big as it was. There were virtually no get out points and it would of been tricky if we needed to.
Passing Dounreay I was reminded of the necessity of power but my internal thoughts are opposing to nuclear power. There are new technologies, the questions arise again. “Why do they not have solar panels on every government building?” “New builds” my biggest favourite “why not Carpark? ” or am I just stupid? (Ok no need to answer that one). But seriously supermarket roofs and Carpark could be covered. Offering shade and somewhere dry to park. Anyway.
Paddling out around the Brims Ness race we were met with massive swell. I cant stop smiling in this kind of swell. Big, some steep waves like bungalows and busses passing under you. It’s great. We became aware of the easy sizing method of using normal everyday objects.
The swell wasn’t stopping but the wind would occasionally slow a little giving time to check everyone. This was a good paddle and we had managed to stay close enough too.
I chatted to Duncan and said “this swell is very metal” his reply cracked me up, “borderline thrash” classic.
Then we were near Holborn Head we had to “face the music”, by this I mean cut in and paddle in the swell and the returning clapotice.  Not a great experience but something that made us all do our bit. The bumpy water making my boat nearly pop out the water.
As we paddled around into the bay I heard Duncan say “I’ve never been so happy to see Thurso in my life” another classic.
We made it into the harbour and placed the boats close to the slipway. Katie went off to the RNLI station as her wallet was going to be posted and my new tent pole and fly sheet courtesy of MSR should be there too. Alas no wallet but the tent stuff was there. We put up the tent in the harbour and the lads went off to stay in a hotel.


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