It was another lovely day yesterday … light winds and I paddled without a cag … and was warm. I could really have done with the trolley yesterday as I chased the falling tide to launch from the beach.
I stopped for a break at beautiful Port Isaac where I was given some water and local advice. I left quickly while my illusion of the world of Doc Martin was still intact.
Heading north from Port Isaac towards Boscastle, and I was suddenly surrounded by a pod of dolphins. Swimming up to and under the boat for quite a while before I remembered to get the camera out.
It was a nice evening, and I kept paddling until quite late, arriving at Crackington Haven as the sun was setting.
I met a lovely family on the beach who let me warm up by their fire, and gave me some food and a donation for the fundraising. They even carried all my gear up the beach for me – thanks very much !
Looks a bit too windy for some of today, so I’m having a day off and enjoying some rest.
The wind at Sennen finally dropped yesterday. I’d spotted the Tarans of the AB4B team in the harbour, but unfortunately didn’t meet the paddlers. Good luck Lee and Nick !
A few miles after leaving Sennen, I realised that I had left my trolley wheels on the beach because I am an idiot. I paddled back to find the helpful lifeguard waving one of the wheels at me, but the other had washed away. So much for leave no trace. I am now temporarily trollyless.
The spring tide helped make up for the delay, and it was a beautiful day to paddle past some amazing Cornish coastline. I stopped on Crantock beach near Newquay. The weather looks good again today.
Yesterday, I paddled west from Porthleven cutting across some of Mount’s Bay to Mousehole. I stopped at Porthgwarra for a break, after which the exposed sea became a bit more lively.
I was chuffed to finally pass Land’s End (and complete the south coast), but resisted the temptation to make any jubilant gestures for fear that they may be mistaken for signs of distress by anyone on the cliffs.
I landed in the surf at Sennen and camped just off the beach. The wind is stronger today and (inevitably) northerly, so I enjoying a welcome day off as I’m pretty exhausted.
There are a lot of granite boulders at one end of this beach, some of which have been carefully balanced on end. I am impressed.
I didn’t leave Falmouth until Sunday, as it look a bit longer then expected for the the epoxy on my repair to cure. The repair seems to have worked well – thanks to Sea Kayaking Cornwall and Mike at Rockpool for all the help and advice.
The sea was flat and the wind was behind me going down to the Lizard – it was warm enough to paddle without a cag (until I stopped on tiny beach just before the Lizard to put one on).
I stopped a bit before sunset, and camped on the beach near Porthleven. The weather looks good again today.
Finally, the wind dropped on Wednesday and I was able to continue west. I had decided to start the day by crossing directly from Lantic Bay to Dodman Point. The crossing started well and a couple of puffins flew close by, but after a while the boat started to feel heavy and a bit sloshy, and I realised I had a leak in the kayak and the cockpit was filling up. I was glad that I had fitted an electric pump so was able to pump water out faster than it was coming in.
I landed at the first opportunity which was Hemmick Beach just after Dodman Point. It turns out Hemmick Beach was a nice place to stop anyway, and I made a temporary repair with duct tape which was enough to get me to Falmouth the next day, where Sea Kayaking Cornwall have been hugely helpful – collecting me from the beach, giving me somewhere to stay, somewhere to repair the boat, and lots of useful advice. Thanks SKC ! I’m hoping to continue tommorow while the weather is good.
I’m still at Lantic Bay – the weather forecasts continue to look poor for the next few days. It’s day 72 of my trip today – both John and Joe paddling last year were finished by now, and I’m barely a quarter of the way round !
You can just see my tent in this picture.
Despite the forecasts, I keep finding myself tempted to “go for it” whenever it looks calm in the bay, but a short walk up onto the cliffs where I’m exposed to the wind, or the occasional sight of a passing yacht being tossed about convinces me that I’m probably making the right decision to wait on the beach.
While pacing up and down the beach, I started collecting rubbish into a pile. This made it look even worse, so I crushed the plastic bottles and I went into Polruan to buy some rubbish bags …
… then carried it all back into town and found a new home for the fender. There is still some rubbish on the beach that I missed, but I think it looks a bit better now, and 99 is not 100 !
I enjoyed covering some distance yesterday – the Taran was flying along with the wind behind me most of the way. Passing Burgh Island, then Great Mew Stone and paddling past Plymouth by crossing directly to Rame Head.
After a bit of tanker dodging, I arrived at Rame head and continued due west into Cornwall to keep south of the Tregantle Range.
Conditions became more difficult later on with some larger breaking waves turning the kayak off course. I even started to worry that the helicopter overhead for a while was watching me, but was more likely something to do with the Hawks doing some impressive low flying nearby.
I was quite relieved to turn into the sheltered calm of Lantic Bay – a jaw-dropingly beautiful place to stop.
Conditions here are spectacularly worse today, and forecast to worsen, so I could be here for a while, but I’m quite happy to rest here for as long as it takes until the weather improves.
It was a very foggy start to the day – I couldn’t see anything between Torquay and Start Point (glad to be passing that on such a calm day). After that, the fog cleared too reveal some beautiful coastline.
I stopped for lunch on a little beach just after Prawle Point and meet a couple of other sea kayakers there – was good to have some company and advice over lunch. I finished the day on another little beach, near Burgh Island. Off to cook some food now.
It is good to be paddling again – I was quite late leaving Budleigh Salterton, so I didn’t go that far today and am now camped on a lovely spot near Torquay.
I’m planning to leave early tomorrow to make better use of the tide and this
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Leaving Branscome. (Thanks Martin for the photo).
I’ve had this week off the water … I arrived at Budleigh Salterton on Sunday from Branscome, and trollied the kayak back to East Budleigh where I’ve spent the week at home. It felt quite strange not to be sleeping in a tent for first time on this trip.
I’ve spent much of the week doing some gel coat repairs to the kayak, making a longer axle for the trolley, fixing broken electronics, sorting out a leak in a camera housing, and various other bits and bobs.
I’ve also been going through kit trying to make a bit more space in the boat (so I can fit more food in). After six broken poles and a lot of emails, I received a replacement tent – thanks Vango!
I’d like to stay here enjoying mother’s company and home cooking, but I’m continuing today. (I also need to pass the Straight Point firing range at the weekend). Looking forward to all the interesting coastline ahead.