The second part of the day was completely different to the first one. But first food. So we had ice cream and coffee and then lunch. Now lunch was interesting. You go to a pub/amusement arcade, they seem to have only these her around the beach. Then you order from a small menu and then in twenty minutes a guy from next door chippy brings your food. Takeaway containers, sauces, plastic forks, everything. Besides, it was tasty as well.
From then the weather just got worst and worst. At some point we thought we won’t be able to see anything, mainly the big ships and their shipping lane. Then we thought, we won’t be able to go at all, it was storming badly. Oh yeah, and the headwind, but we know that one too well.
In the end, we went, paddled, fought and made it to Gravesend to be already made to stop by safety boat. Hopefully they won’t bother us much during our go past the Olympic zone.
It has been blowing F5 since yesterday late afternoon. And it will be like that untill Tuesday.
Despite the wind we enjoyed the paddle yesterday crossing from Holland on Sea all the way to Shoeburyness. We hoped for Southend, but well.
At least we could paddle off together into the sunset. In our individual way, of course.
After fairly short and not very peaceful night at Shoeburyness Beach the morning was early as we wanted to catch the last three hours of tide. The plan is to fight to reach Canvey Island, have a break, and leave again with the afternoon tide to Gravesend. It felt good to be on the Thames again.
This side looks very different to the opposite one.
During the trip I often thought of how it would be coming back this way. How would I feel, what weather there would be, and so on. I can say that the weather is as expected, sunny and warm. The paddle is awfully hard, not as expected, yet after paddling against the wind for so many times, it doesn’t bother me anymore. As I never get too excited prior expected in case it won’t happen, the thoughts still go as far as the night or what the weather will be tomorrow. But I do have to admit, I am looking forward to different clothes, nail varnish, hair brush, clean socks every day, sand free feet and always having the roof over my head once on the loo.
We like it when people are using the spot in its correct way – to find us on the water. And this is what happened yesterday, but I will come to that later.
The day started nicely after a good night sleep. The neighbours were quietly humming in the back ground, but were no bother, really. We stayed at Sizewell beach.
From then we just paddled and paddled. Aldeburgh looked great, colourful match of interesting houses which we decided to come back one day and explore together with the inland canals and river.
This soon changed and we started the long paddle along Orford Ness and Orford beach. It was soooo long, a true Chesil beach of the East minus the drift wood structures. But eventually we reached Shingle Street.
It’s situated in Hollesley Bay and has many Martello Towers. This one was my favourite.
The crossing of Felixstowe – Harwich was uneventful, but at least we met other water users.
At Walton-on-Naze we started to look for place where to pitch. Well, no luck, so we continued and continued, passed Frinton-on-Sea and then we heard someone shouting from the promenade. We do not respond to people shouting to us, but then I heard my name. Ok, if someone knows my name then maybe I should respond. And right we did. It was Tim, we met him a while ago, he lives close by and thought we may do with a break. We did indeed. So we finished in Holland-on-Sea, loaded everything on and in the car, forgot to load the flask, and left.
It was great evening, food was cooked for us and we saw the Olympic opening ceremony, good reminder that we’re getting closer.
This morning we arrived back to the landing spot, unloaded everything from the car, found the flask still waiting for us, packed the boats and now are ready to go. Southend is our destination for today.
Thank you all who entered last round of the competition. It raised awesome £183.
Thank you to everyone who responded to our £200 fundraising match so quickly. The amount was raised and matched even before the deadline.
I am sure that many of you noticed that our speed increased the distance left decreased. Yes, we are heading home, to London. It would be four months and enough is enough.
We would like to arrive to Shadwell Bsin on Tuesday the 31.07.2012 with the high tide between noon and 1pm. You can always check our progress on the spot.
It would be great to see many supporters in the finishing line, however during the following afternoon we would like to sort out our equipment to be able to relax later. There is a BBQ planned by the THCC club members for later in the evening from 6pm.
Our first half a day in Norfolk was great. Lots of terns, many oystercatchers. We enjoyed passing the estuaries.
Then it dawned on us. During almost two days we only saw dunes, sandy beach, sandy cliffs or any combination of those three. Besides Norfolk lacked in WiFi, 3G and public toilets. On top of that we had the most expensive coffee so far. £5 for two filter ones in a cafe where they had awfully dirty tablecloths. That was in Caister on Sea.
Great Yarmouth failed to lift our spirits, too.
Finally we reached Lowestoft Ness, the most Easterly point in UK.
With Suffolk the change in coastline came and our spirits did get the lift.
Southwold indeed reminded us of Islington. Sadly we could not stop as we were trying to get the most of tide.
One thing we have discovered is that it is a real lottery win to be a lighthouse keeper on South East coast. The light house is never in the middle of nowhere. You definitely don’t have to worry about water seeping through your cellar. The keepers accommodation also seems bigger than the ones we have seen before, let’s say on west or north coast.
Natalie and Michal reached tonight CAISTER- ON- SEA 25/7/12
Therefore the winner of time challenge is Fiona with Lowestoft.
Well done. Please email me the item you have selected for your prize.
We received an offer from one of our supporter. If we can collect up to £200 in donations within 72 hours, he will match that.
I placed the first £20 there, can you help?
Can we make it? From now (24.07 at 10pm) till 27.07 till 10 pm.
This was a frase from a book I read ages ago. I sadly don’t remember its title, but it was about an old jewish lady living in an old house in Islington. Quite fun.
And grabbing opportunities was the theme of yesterday. It started in the morning with these.
If you see “Cappuccino special” on the menu, you must have it. We accompanied it by Banoffee ice cream pie. Again an opportunity to grab, since our days of carefree cake and coffee eating are being numbered. No more, once we get back to normal.
The next opportunity came in the form of Mark. The one who put us up with his friend in Aberdeen. He came to Skeggness for meeting and found us on the beach. His strength was very welcomed since the water moved considerable distance from the shore.
The paddle across the Wash was idyllic. The slight sea was gently rocking us by waves generated by F5 wind. The wind was blowing into our faces cooling us in the afternoon sunshine. The turbines of the wind farm which we passed hummed in the air.
Just when I decided to take a relief a boat came very close, probably for a friendly chat. Well, when a lady needs to go, she needs to go. Hope all on board made it safely on shore.
Norfolk announced itself as Mark said, by sandwich terns making lots of noise. The land looked golden in the evening sun. It was high water when we landed, therefore even the beach looked inviting.
The last opportunity of the day emerged as three strong young men. Who didn’t mind to save me lots of hassle and energy.
Grrabbit, you’d love it.