Departure: 3rd March
I paddled the last few miles yesterday, weaving my way through all the punts on the Cam to arrive back at the mill pond in Cambridge where I had left 204 days earlier.
Arrival: 22nd September
Thanks to everyone who came to see me arrive, and all the encouraging comments while I was paddling round. After dreaming about doing this for years, the reality exceeded my expectations – a fantastic way to spend the year.
There was a lovely sunrise this morning, but I rested for a while before setting off. Feels strange not having to think about the tide or the weather.
I stopped at a nice friendly pub at Brandon Creek for a good lunch. Very handy to be able to moor the kayak in the beer garden.
My rudder cable broke today (I think due to chafing on the trolley wheels which I stow just infront of the pedals). Good think it lasted until today as I don’t have a spare and can manage without the rudder on the river.
The moon rose shortly after the sunset and I kept paddling until it was fairly dark. Not far to go now.
Thanks for all the comments and donations today – I didn’t realise so many people are still reading this. I’ll be adding a few more posts yet, including the timelapse video that I’ve been making during the journey.
The spring tide this morning sneaked round behind my tent (as I was camped on a salt marsh) and was lapping up against the guy lines as I was packing away.
I left early in the ebb which meant I was having to paddle against the tide as I crossed The Wash, but this allowed me to reach the start of the Lynn Channel near low water, so I could make good use of the flood going up the river – I was going upstream at up to 8 knots !
As I passed King’s Lynn, I paddled under a bridge for the first time since March. It’s quite strange to be back on the river again. I stopped at Denver Sluice where I portaged onto the non-tidal river. I’m now lying in my tent listening to owls, but I can’t hear the sea anymore. Very pleased to have made it, but also a little bit sad that this wonderful journey is coming to an end.
Thanks to everyone that donated today – brilliant !
I’ll be arriving back where I started – at the mill pond in Cambridge – at 3pm on Sunday. Come join me for a drink in The Mill to celebrate.
Day 200 (!) … After sheltering in the dunes at Mablethorpe during several days of gales, the wind dropped a bit today and I paddled to Gibraltar Point, just south of Skegness.
There was still a pretty strong crosswind while paddling today and I had to keep the boat pointed towards the beach all the way to avoid being blown too far offshore.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much more of this trip left. I’m now in a good position to cross The Wash to rejoin the river at King’s Lynn, although I’m not sure I want to do that during the headwind forecast for tomorrow.
(Thanks very much to the Kirkwood family for the latest donation – much appreciated).
I was tempted to rest today as I was tired and the forecast looked borderline, but it was a tailwind and the Donna Nook range was closed for the weekend … so I went for a paddle.
After trollying the boat back across Withernsea, it was a bit of a tricky launch – I had to wait for a few sets of waves before picking my moment.
Conditions were lively, but the Taran was flying along and I arrived at Spurn Head about an hour earlier than planned. I managed to dodge the tankers crossing the Humber, but there were also some worryingly heavy breaking waves to dodge as I reached shallower water a few miles from the south shore.
I continued south, staying out in the deeper water until near Mablethorpe where I surfed into the beach and over a sand bar to land in calm water – a good end to the day.
Much stronger winds are forecast for tomorrow, so I’ll be enjoying a rest day camped in the dunes. Hope the tent survives !
Paddled to Withernsea, passing miles of muddy cliffs being washed into the sea. Days are getting shorter and colder. Feeling pretty tired now.
Gannets circling overhead.
I left Robin Hood’s Bay this morning in misty conditions that continued for most of the day.
Passengers on a pleasure boat cheered and waved as I passed Scarborough. I had just enough time to get round Flamborough Head and stop at the south landing before it was dark.
I was feeling pretty tired and hungry by the time I arrived,
but fortunately some people on the beach helped me get my boat up the beach, and gave me some bread, cheese and cake. Brilliant -Thanks !
Also, thanks to John P. for the generous donation – much appreciated!
I walked down to the slipway to have a look at the sea at dusk yesterday … it looked pretty rough, but hopefully it will have calmed down by tomorrow !
Sunrise again (sorry!)
Yesterday started with another beautiful sunrise at Redcar, and calm conditions. Much of the day was spent paddling past cliffs with few places to stop, feeling quite exposed on the section after Whitby.
Waterspout (decaying by the time I'd grabbed my camera)
By the time I turned into Robin Hood’s Bay, a change in the weather was marked by a strong squall, loud thunder, and a waterspout (I didn’t know those happened here). A good time to get off the water !
Quite a struggle towing the laden boat up the slipway and uphill to a campsite, but worth it for a hot shower. Today it is blowing a gale, so I’m going to be resting for a day or two.
(Thanks very much to Tim & Midori and Steve & Steph for your generous donations)
Today, I paddled from Seaham, past Hartlepool and all the shipping at Tees Mouth, and stopped on a narrow beach near Redcar.
Nice weather today, but it was pretty cold soon after the sun had set.