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

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Kayak Isle of Man - Kayak Sailing in Stornoway

The weekend in the Outer Hbrides has been marred by gales and rain. It may be August but rather like at home on the Isle of Man, the weather has little regard for the seasons. And so it was a force 6 or possibly 7 that confined me to Stornoway Harbour. This wasn't paddling it was kayak sailing. Having battled my way up to Arnish point from Cuddy point, hugging the coast for any meager shelter I could find, I spun the boat around and sailed back. Paddling was unnecessary. Alternating left and right stern rudders kept me on course, and the only time I did need to paddle, frantically, was when a large Norwegian fishing vessel threatened to mow me down. I stole a glimpse through the narrow gap which leads from Stornoway Harbour into the Minch and witnessed a steaming, slow motion, boiling ocean. If I'd gone out I'd never have made it back in as the gales would have taken me off to Point and beyond!
I had a great time but I'm not sure that the two paddlers from Stornoway Canoe Club did as they struggled with their Coach 2 and Coach 3 assessments! With a coach over from the mainland they couldn't cancel and the assessment continued, despite being out of remit. Many thanks to the club for letting me use their facilities and for the warm welcome they gave to me.

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