Thursday, 5 June 2008

The F in Fog

Thursday 5 June
The exercise had been cancelled by the lifeboat crew: Jeck was devastated!). It was, however, a beautiful calm and sunny day so we agreed to meet up, as planned, immediately after work. At this point someone suggested that, as we were no longer constrained by the lifeboat exercise and it was such a lovely evening, we could perhaps do something a little bit more ...
9 kayaks launched from Mill Sands across several miles of seaweed (or so it seemed at the time) at just before 6pm. Johnny was resplendent in his brand new skyblue and white Eddyline kayak. The water was lovely and we made across for Mull Head hitting the shoreline again close to Halley. The journey was idyllic and we were in no hurry. We explored the north coastline of Deerness in detail, popping in and out of every geo and cave.
Then, just before getting to Mull Head - the haar came in, came in good and proper, a real pea souper.
2 of us were separated from the rest of the group at this point but soon gained a fix on a well kent pair of vocal cords! The group now reunited, we realised that we were getting hungry (yes, we had come out before tea intending a short paddle). Emergency chocolate rations then came in handy before setting a course back. The sun filtering through the sea mist made some interesting visual effects.
We had got a deck compass (but no map). Our estimated bearing of due West would not have been far off the mark. However, we were understandably unkeen to to let the shoreline get out of sight. After exchanging greetings with a Dutch yacht, and land ahead we decided that Mill Sands was to the port side. We eventually heard the sound of cars on the main road and realised we had strayed south and were by the old Toab school at the Bay of Suckquoy. We were a little off track. We turned around closely following the coastline back to Mill Sands getting back at after 10pm.
The detour had cost us an extra 4 miles. The one silver lining was that the tide was now right in and there was no portage at the end of the day. Home for tea. Johnny and Peter agreed on a plan to tell their respective wives that it was all the other's fault, a plan doomed to failure.