Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Chocolate eggs and sea monsters

Last Friday, three of us set off from Silver sands at the back of 7 in the evening for a short night paddle. The plan was to head out round Hawkcraig point, across the bay  to Braefoot, then cut across and round Inchcolm.The day had been fairly miserable up until then with thick haar which kept rolling in, in big, cold, damp clouds. England and Wales had been put on a smog alert as the air had been so still. We didn't seem to have had any wind either, so I  was expecting mill pond like conditions. Once we had rounded the point, we found that there was quite a swell with the occasional white horse. Lovely paddling conditions when we could see, but I admit to being a bit wary about these horses galloping up on us in the pitch dark! One good thing though, the haar had cleared and we had a beautiful sunny evening.

Honestly, I haven't had 1 too many choccy eggs

Ken approaching Inchcolm
 By the time we had a slow paddle round and across to the island, getting followed most of the way by the usual inquisitive seals, the sky was getting quite dark. We weren't going to have to stay on the island too long for the dark to come down. We stopped for a coffee and a Cadbury's cream egg, the things I do for chocolate.

Do you think the radiation is still a problem here

We put on our head torches and attached our glowsticks to our backs. We decided to aim back upstream a bit as the tide was going out and the flow can be quite strong at times and headed across towards Braefoot again. This was Bart's first evening paddle, so we wanted to keep him between the two of us.


 We reached the shipping channel to find a boat approaching. We stayed put to allow it to pass us, only to find another one approaching. We allowed that one to pass as well. We may have right of way over the boats, but I'm not arguing with them. This one had spotted us, put their lights on us and asked if we were heading in to Aberdour. When we said we were, they shouted back, "That's OK, we'll not need to tell the others!"
As we were heading across the shipping channel after explaining to Bart, that once we start to cross, we have to really "gie it some welly " and clear the channel fast, I get a bit concerned when all stops for a photo shoot! I get even more concerned when I look to the right to see the most enormous sea monster which has appeared from nowhere. This tanker was huge and was sharing the same bit of water as us! I shouted at Bart to get a move on, this boat wouldn't even go bump as it flattened us! Another couple of paddle strokes and Bart decided to get another photo. I reckon he was trying for a close up without the zoom lens!!! Luckily, this boat was getting towed in to berth, but it could still shift. After a bit more yelling at Bart (he must by now think I'm a nag, could be right, but I like the thought of surviving my trips) we made it into Aberdour bay. The crossing itself had been surprisingly smooth. The waves seem to have been ironed out. As we approached the point to turn into Silver sands again, the chop got up again, but we didn't have far to go.
It's funny how in the dark the surf sounds huge. As we were approaching the beach, I was getting ready for my landing and was a bit surprised to find the "surf" was just a tiny ripple.

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