Thursday, 26 June 2014

Macclesfield Canal - 23rd June 2014

1 hour paddle, MADCC boathouse to Buxton Road (Puss in Boots pub).
Paddling the Tor again... don't think I'm getting any faster!
9km distance.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Macclesfield Canal - 16th June 2014

Quick jaunt in the Tor as a practice for the Cheshire Ring Race. 1 hour paddle, just over 9km distance.
Using the GPS I don't seem to be any faster in the Tor than my racing sea kayak (the Epic). Concentrating on keeping the Tor upright is cancelling any other benefit I think.

Ravenglass Seaquest - 15th June 2014

For once calm conditions greeted us as we turned up for registration on the Ravenglass harbour beach. Hazy sunshine and low winds made a nice change from the conditions of recent years. Once registered we retired to the cafe in the Ravenglass station for a second breakfast of a bacon butty and scrutinised our maps.

The Ravenglass Seaquest is a 3 hour "score" event where you are given 3 hours to collect as many orienteering controls as possible, getting points for each control but significant points penalty if you return late. High tide is in the middle of the 3 hours, so you have to plan a route that takes this into account because parts of the course are lacking water as the tide goes out.

Luckily for me, it seems the fast guys stayed away and I managed to get all the controls with a minute or two to spare and won the men's K1 prize.

Thanks to Karen and her helpers from Copeland Canoe Club for a fun and friendly event and I hope to be back again next year.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Coquet Island Race - 8th June 2014

Early on Sunday morning we de-camped and made our way down to Amble to get a good parking spot for the Coquet Island Race. I've always been lucky with the weather each time I've done this race, and this year was no exception. 

It's always sunny for the Coquet race!

An elite athlete gets ready
The sunny and warm conditions meant that tee-shirts were in order. We lined up for the start at 11am and we were soon off down the harbour. I didn't have my Epic racing kayak, but I'm not sure how much difference that would have made. I've been finding the Epic a bit of a handful, so I was curious to see how I got on in the Xplore. Once out of the harbour the southerly breeze was kicking up a bit of swell, but looking at the route plot below I seem to have taken a good line both out and back as we went around the island clockwise.

Rachael finishes with a grimace!
I finished 5th sea kayak, just out-sprinted on the line by someone in an Inuk. My time was just over 50 minutes. Many thanks to Coquet Canoe Club for putting on a fun event.

Route plot

Farne Islands - 7th June 2014

On the friday night we set off early from work in Manchester, only to sit on the M60 for half an hour due to an accident, so it took while to make our way over to Leeds and to actually start heading north. After a quick supermarket stop so Jim could buy some Alnwick Rum, we arrvied at our destination, the dive centre at Beadnell where we would camp for a couple of nights. A pleasant evening was spent cooking a meal followed by stroll down to the beach and around the village.

Jim surveys the morning's route

Saturday started off sunny with a fresh breeze, and it was in pretty good conditions we set off from the beach N of Bamburgh Castle.

Rachael and Jim with Bamburgh Castle in the background
Unfortunately not long after setting off, Rachael didn't feel too well, so we returned to the beach and after some discussion, Jim and I carried on with our original plan.

Jim at the Megstone
We planned a clockwise route, visiting the Megstone and then heading over to Staple Island and then N on to Longstone. Once we neared the main islands of the archipelago, we were surrounded by guillemots and puffins.

Jim stalking Puffins
On our way out to the Longstone,we switched to the SE side of the islands to find more sporty conditions on the "weather" side (the wind was from the S).

Jim returning to his kayak - with a seal alongside
There were plenty of seals around the Longstone who kept an inquisitive eye on us, including one that lay down for a kip alongside Jim's boat. After lunch we made our way back along the chain to Inner Farne. By this time the wind had got up some more and the conditions were quite rough on the windward side and it was nice to be able to get out and stretch our legs on the bird reserve. Note to self... take National Trust membership card next time, NOT RSPB.... hopefully I can claim my entrance fee back.

Typical Farne Island view of a Tern

The rain set in while we were walking around Inner Farne, so photo opportunities were restricted, but it was still great to see the birds so close. A quick crossing back to the mainland saw us back just before 4pm. Approximately 16.5 km paddled.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Macclesfield Canal - 1st June 2014

Clarke Lane <> Higher Poynton Marin.
Out in 55:08, back in 57;46... lovely day, but didn't feel too energetic and a few boat delays at some of the bridges.