ISLAND HOPPING

ISLE OF MAN

So we landed on Thursday night and found shelter in Mariners’ Shelter in St Mary’s harbour. Next day we were given the forecast by the harbour office and it was clear that we were going nowhere for the next few days. The main problem had to be sorted, where to stay. This wasn’t our first visit to the island. We came here two years ago to kayak with Adventurous Experiences. And so Kieron it was to whom we sent a text. Him being away, paddling at Aleutian Islands, his colleague Sam answered. World is small, it was Sam with whom we paddled last time.
And so we set off from Port St Mary, hoping to get as far as Peel, or maybe Niarbyl, just a bit closer for our next journey and for the pick up. The wind was force 4, due to pick up by 4pm. We made it through the Sound of Calf before it became a Tiderace and continued past Port Erin. The wind was strong from the side. Hidden under the cliffs we enjoyed a bit of coast exploration.

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But this did not last long, the wind followed the cliffs and soon became a headwind. We pushed as far as we could, being carried by tide, but soon the kayak started to reverse, being blown by the wind. The water was being taken by the wind from the surface and thrown into our faces, there it was a clear F7. We had no other option than to turn (not fun) and go back to Port Erin hoping that we can make into the harbour against the wind. Eventually we did. Many people were on the beach enjoying the hot weather and Friday afternoon unaware of the drama we went through.

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Now we only had to wait for the pick up. Sam took us to their head quarters at Ballabrooie Farm.

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We camped here for two nights and were made to feel very welcome by everyone living here.

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Jim (Kieron’s dad) even lent us a car to ease our exploring of the island. Which we enjoyed and really liked the wild forests they have here and the beautiful coastline.

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The only complication was that it was the beginning of TT Race. Again. It was same the last time we came here, and so we had to negotiate few road closures and many motorbike.

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I have to admit we never heard of TT Race till two years ago, and failed to see how important is was in the history of racing sport. Well, we do know now, and the next time we come here, we will try to avoid it.

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