The weather is non-paddling again, for two days at least. Knowing that we decided it was time to leave Devon and move to Cornwall, anyway Michal wanted to be there last week already and I wanted to there by 29th at least. But you have seen our progress in the last two weeks and it didn’t look like it.
Till this two day window appeared. We took a chance; being only able to paddle for half a day on Friday, we decided on long day for the next day. We got up at 4 in the morning and left just after 6 am, yes we can do 2 hours if we don’t unpack fully and cook something quick for breakfast. I like this early morning paddles, everything was clam and passing Plymouth was uneventful. After short stop we crossed the White Sands Bay, when we were crossing the St Austell Bay the predicted wind picked up already and we had good following sea.
At Dodman Point we were thinking of stopping in Veyran Bay, but the lack of amenities there and the idea of going to cheer Midlifekayak on their leaving next day (we didn’t know at that time that they postponed) made us to stretch it to Portscatho. Ok it was our 14th hour and the last one was the hardest one, we realised how cold we were, when the water started to feel warm. But we made it and I even enjoyed the landing in the little surf wave.
We pitched by the BBQ. It’s only in the early morning when the wind and rain really picked up, we started to make enquiries about the weather and Midlifekayak whereabouts. Both JP and Barbara send messages to their website and just when we were ready to leave for the village, Andy came to see us.
And so the story of social paddle around UK continues, we just had great breakfast and were offered a bed for the night.
On Friday we were leaving Hallsands, we couldn’t start to paddle till 1pm as we had to wait till the tide turns the right way for us. While we were enjoying the sunand the leisury packing we saw a kayaker going towards Beesand. Quite unusual sight as we have not seen many so far. We saw him agawhence afloat, but he was paddling backfrom Beesands and disappearing fast in the distance.
However later, just past Start Point by Lanacombe Bay we met him again and exchanged few words, and although he said he would paddle with us for and chat. Nice idea but he had Rockpool Taran, yellow and green, very nice), wing paddles and great paddling style so he disappeared again in no time. No chat then. Fortunately he waited again after Prowley Point and suggested where to meet for lunch.
And so we did. During lunch we exchanged formalities and paddling plans and found out that he was Nick Arding from Around Britain 4 Britain, and planning to do it next year.
Natalie writes ” We got bored being stuck in Devon, so when the weather changed we decided to push for Cornwall in the two days weather window. On Friday we made it to Wembury. We left from there yesterday early at 6 am and paddled for 14 hours, we achieved 45 miles, about 70 km and landed in Porthscato. We decided to come here to cheer the Midlife Kayak up on their departure. We are on the first beach north from Porthscato next to BBQ.”
Jean- Pierre Email : firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on the blog with you details.
Today we should be afloat again as soon as the tide at Start Point turns. We had a great time here on Hallsands Beach, met and talked to lots of lovely people, even had a shower at Seagull cottage.
While we’re paddling we’re posting a story by DIMA from Shadwell Basin. This is to remind us all the different reasons for which people go paddling.
I’ve been coming to the Shadwell Basin since I was nine, I’m 17 now already a UKCC level one coach and have done my UKCC level 2 training. I’m a three star paddler in both sea and white-water and 4 Star white-water trained. I’ve gained many national governing body qualifications met loads of new people and helped lead youth fundraising projects. Shadwell is like my second home if I would not be able to paddle I would be very stressed and agitated. If I didn’t come here I would probably be on the street with no qualifications and no motivation for life. This centre is like no other youth organisation I have ever been to and I also get this special feeling when I’m here I always feel safe always having fun and would recommend it to anyone.
Our progress is slow due to the strong headwinds which have been keeping us company for the last two weeks. On the other hand we have time to explore new and live through lots of little stories. Here is one from Oddicombe Beach.
We were aware that the spot for pitching out tent there wasn’t brilliant but needs must be and since it was a horrible cold windy day we thought no one would mind. No one did except the council. As reported by the kind people from Oddicombe Cable Car they were around our tent a few times (we left for a walk and shopping), and were not very happy.
When we came back this time we found a note in our tent. The note is below. There was nothing we could do, we had to disobey and stay till the morning when we could leave. Fortunately, Torbay council was good to us and no one came to remove us that night.
That day we had a nice paddle along the coast exploring the cliffs and enjoying the sea, till after lunch. Once we set off to cross the Start Bay the wind picked up and started to push us towards the open sea. We crossed all right but all our plans to go around the Start Point vanished. By the time we got to Hallsands it was almost too late with the tide turning. And so we stayed.
We pitched our tent high on the beach. Once we settled down we could see the locals moving their boats higher up, we were wondering what does it mean. We got a signal walking up the hill and found out about the gale 8 or 9 coming. We decided that till high tide we should be fine.
The storm came during the night and considering Michal hates rain he very bravely went out to fix the tent better. It was blowing easterly right on us. We survived but got up early to move before the sea comes to knock on our door. Sure it came a bit later.
Once settled down again, after breakfast and tea we went to see the Start Point. We discovered the old village of Hallsands at the bottom of the cliffs. One day in January 1917 during a storm the whole village but two houses were taken by the sea. This all due to dredging of the shingle bank which was located offshore from Hallsands to build new port in Plymouth. Although the villagers were protesting against the dredging it was carried out till 1902.
On our walk to Start Point we discovered a forest and had a peak at the sea, it was rough around there and the wind strong, we were right to stay.
Wednesday 25th April. Just received an update from Natalie & Michal.
Natalie says “ This morning I woke up due to a big storm, I found a puddle next to my head. I had to put on my wet weather gear and then I started to move everything out of the tent, shifting the kayaks and finally moving the tent just in time before the water came knocking at the entrance of the tent. We are now looking for stones to secure the tent in its new place, all this happened at 7am.
Later on the weather should improve and we should stay dry waiting for the sea to calm down.”
Please if you are reading this post update and haven’t yet sponsored Natalie & Michal. Please click on the donate button and give what you can, even if it is only the amount you would spend on a cup of coffee or on a pint. It would give some encouragement to them.
Thank you very much.
One good thing about being stuck is pub with WIFI. So we are able to upload short footage we made two days ago.
This morning we got ready to paddle as it did not look bad despite the forecast. We checked that at 7am, XCWeather said 3 to 4 and 5 later. The sea didn’t look too bad either. After breakfast when we were ready in our drysuit we looked at the sea and it looked stormy. Our sheltered beach got big dumping waves and the sea outside was full of white horses, the wind also increased. We checked Met Inshore which said 6 to gale 8, cyclonic. And so we decided to stay.
We attached the tent and boat to the concrete as much as we could and went for a walk. We may be ok to stay there for now, but may have to leave soon.
It was a difficult decision to make. We don’t know if it was good or bad decision. It is easier to recognise bad decision rather than the good one. The wind and sea don’t look too bad now, but who knows what’s coming later and what’s around the headland.