Back in bonnie Scotland now, we had a weather window of opportunity - rare, these past weeks, and it beckoned. It really beckoned. If the Saturday forecast conditions held, it would be perfect. It was.
The venue: the North Sea. Launch spot: the tiny, former fishing village of Auchmithie, perched on the red, sandstone cliffs, north of Arbroath. The gathering: seven smiling sea kayakers...hungry for some adventure.
It became a "banquet" of treats, a perfect day on the water: sunshine, warm air temperature, sea birds, deep and dark caverns and caves, dramatic photographic opportunities, stunning geological features, excellent company...and a sea state that transitioned from benign to "energetic".
Coming from the Kingdom of Fife, Ayrshire, Glasgow, and Aberdeenshire, Ian, Douglas, Mike, Maurice, and Phil and Joan and myself met at the old harbour, beneath the cliffs at Auchmithie, for a 1030 hrs launch. It was great to see Ian, Mike, and Douglas again - we'd paddled here together a month and a half ago. And it was a real pleasure to meet Maurice and Phil, two more passionate sea kayakers. It was a good company, indeed.
The coast along here is well seasoned with sea caves and caverns. It is not often possible to paddle into them. This day, however, there was an opportunity on the southbound leg, on the northbound return leg, not so much. Douglas has posted an excellent narrative on the day here. I'm hoping Ian will do the same on Mountain and Sea Scotland. :)
Here's just a small taste...
Paddling "inside the planet" can be like being inside a massive, medieval cathedral, it is "awe"some. Hearts and minds still...in the silence.
A "light" at the end of this cave, leads to the Gaylet Pot, a massive blow hole, in the middle of a farmer's field.
There is a "secret beach", 150m inland...few vessels have ever landed there. How could they? Those that did, were probably pirates!
It was time to stretch legs...
and examine the marvellous geological formations, formed south of the equator...they astonish the imagination.
Oceanside dining doesn't get much better...no line ups, no reservations needed, fine food and beverage...
It was time for a formal group photo...the four men in mango (Mike, Douglas, myself, Ian), Maurice in red, and Phil in yellow. Photo taken by the "lady in red". ;) We were one pretty happy paddling family.
The narrow boats rested...they would work hard on the return trip.
Launching again, we passed the "Needle's E'e".
There was some excitement and drama to follow...but first, a stop for ice cream.
Yes, ice cream. ;)