Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Decisions Decisions.

Today it wasn't windy ! Five days of wind, decent wind mind, and a wee window today. Maybe we had better get used to having Wee Weather Windows from now on :-)

I decided to go over to Balintore and Paddle in the 'real' sea for the first time in my new boat. I intended to paddle for an hour or so and up to Hilton and back sounded good.
An explanation first. There are three villages, Shandwick, Balintore and Hilton. Most people call the beach Balintore beach and even all the villages as one long village of Balintore. So I call Shandwick beach Balty beach, are you still with me ?



When I got to the beach it looked fairly calm so I loaded the boat with the usual safety gear and launched.



After about five mins I noticed that it was getting bumpier, I soon chickened out of a solo paddle along the rocky shoreline and decided to just paddle about at the beachy area. If I had been with more people, no problem but I decided a while back that if I had any doubts about a paddle I would go to plan B.




I had just started doing some turns when I felt the boat go up, I turned to see a nice big wave go under the boat and race towards the beach. I had never stopped to think how fast waves go before, anyone know ? As it reached the beach spray came off the top as if it were windy. I'm having some of that.

There seemed to be a few big ones at a time then nothing. I waited for the next set and paddled in. Just caught one but the Balty beach is steep and they are up and over quickly, so was I ! I was just setting up for the roll when my arm and shoulder hit the beach, I pulled the deck and swam in :-) A couple of the locals were staring at this nutter clambering out of the water dragging a boat in 4.5degC and I don't know how cold the north sea is right now around 8degC maybe ? It was great, I was roasting. Helly hansen base layer. Fleece layer, then my fleece lined dry suit.

I took some of the surplus gear up to the car and went out again. Didn't catch the wave this time so turned back out. Just sitting out there doing nothing is enjoyable, have a wee paddle, stop, have a slurp of water, have a look around, great. Oh here comes some bigger ones, paddle. Nah a sideways brace into shore and one last try.
Nothing, too few and far between. Anyway an enjoyable 90 mins playing about, and NO BLOODY WIND.

Time to chill out with a coffee.
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