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

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Lead Sky - Sunday Paddle

The British Isles are one of the best places in the world to live. It's no secret however, that the weather can be poor. Island weather is different. I lived in Orkney for 2 years, right at the very top of Scotland. There we could get all four seasons in one day. The isle of Man is less extreme, but never the less similar. When we get bad weather we don't have to wait too long for the sun to reappear. What is "bad weather" anyway? When the wind's up, and if the tide's against, you've got rough sea and a kayaker's dream.
A lead Sky and a forecast force 5 to 7 winds should have set the scene for today's paddle from Port St. Mary to the Calf of Man. I sometimes wonder if readers of this blog in foreign corners of the world (today - Brazil, Germany, Mexico, USA, Canada) experience such grey skies as we do so often in the British Isles. Colour could only be added to this trip by some sharp seas down at the Calf tidal races.
The trip to the Calf usually takes about 45 minutes. Large surf waves crashed in from the South West and rebounded off the vertical cliffs creating distressed seas. This boded well for what we might encounter further on.

That promised compensation for the drab weather failed to materialise at the Calf Sound however, as the race could only be described as "playful".

And so watched by seals and the crowd at the Calf Cafe, that's what we did - Play. Roles, sculling, re-entry and roles and some surfing began as we made the most of the small standing waves available.

Returning to Port St. Mary the sun came out. One hour later there was torrential rain - see what I mean!

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