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

Monday, 18 February 2008

Isle of Man Kayaking - Calf Circumnavigation.



It was one of those days that we all say we love. Crisp, dry and sunny with barely a breath of wind. My shades saw the first sun of 2008 and I pondered applying sun screen as we prepared our gear in Port Erin. Just Ian and myself headed for the tidal races at the Calf of Man.
With time on our hands before the Sound race would awaken, we set off around the Calf. This small island at the Southern most tip of the Isle of Man is as remote as it gets around here. There are few escape points and further tidal races line it's circumference. They all seem to flow at different times relative to high and low tide. However you time your trip, you'll have to deal with one or more raging tidal races. Ian had never circumnavigated the Calf or paddled in moving water before. But on a day like this there would be no problem as we soaked up the sun and the views.
Returning to the Sound the tidal races began to flow. With a brief explanation of the fundamentals Ian piled in as only he can. I remembered my own first baptism of fire in the Calf Sound. And it was literally that as I learned to swim in the fast flowing water. Ian was no exception. A quick rescue sorted out the situation the first time. The second swim was quite different. I've not before witnessed someone so determined to role back up. On the third attempt and with shear power he rolled so effectively that he rolled straight back over on the other side. It was like watching someone spinning in a tumble dryer. Two more attempts saw him upright! Time to return home to Port Erin. This was a perfect, almost Spring time paddle. It was only spoiled by the disturbing sensation of my dry suite neck gasket smoothly splitting as I extracted myself. Time to give the "Rubber Man" a call!!!!
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