Mainly kayaking photographs taken on the Isle of Man and beyond.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Calf Nights - Seat of the Pants Kayaking.

Staff training continued tonight with a paddle from the Calf. We set off at 7 pm with sunset at 7.23. I was both disturbed and reassured by the presence of the lifeboat hovering off shore. Did they know something I should? They soon left for Port St Mary once the darkness began to engulf the Sound, leaving us alone in the increasingly inhospitable stretch of sea.

Sliding down rocks we took the difficult root into the Sound.

We paddled off across the Sound and along the West coast of the Calf. Keirron said we were looking for a really rough bit of water to practice rescues; as you do when it's pitch black. We soon found some and then surfed back to land on the Calf at Cow Harbour with myself leading. It always surprises me how your other senses soon compensate for visual loss at night. You hear those big waves approaching and realise just how much you are subconsciously predicting wave patterns. This is "seat of the pants" kayaking.
Janet came to the rescue with hot chocolate. We had to kill some time as it wasn't quite dark enough to cross the tidal races of the Sound apparently.

Neal then led us back to the Calf Cafe and Keirron, who must have been using a concealed sonar device, guided us through the rocks and onto the tiny beach.
Night paddles aren't conducive to good photography I've found; I'll try to improve by Sunday.

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