Sunday, 6 June 2010

A Walk on the Wild Side

Peter, Jackie, Dave, Antje, Malcolm and Ben

Skaill to Stromness 10nm

Amazingly all the weekend forecasts concurred - little or no wind (and that from the east).

Swell forecasts predicted no more than 2 feet swell on the west side.
After the usual car shuttle, 6 kayakers congregated on an unusually calm Skaill beach.
We launched at aroud 2pm

As we rounded the Hole of Row, a bit more swell was noticeable.
We played around a blowhole and explored a few of the bigger caves
The labyrinth of caves at Yesnaby were unfortunately inaccessible due to the swell.

However we said "hello" to a group of climbers there.

No doubt enticed on by the thought of the now traditional BBQ at Bilia Croo, everyone was willing to commit to the next unforgiving section.

A few puffins were sighted in the water, one flying right over my bow.

The huge narrow stack at Black Craig was as impressive as ever.
Bilia Croo was very much welcome when we landed there.

While we pondered how much energy was being created by the Oyster wave generator,

Malcolm added a whole new finesse to our BBQs with his delicious homemade mini kebabs and canapes

Coming out of Bilia Croo, the sea provided a bit of surf to crash through.
Our original plan was to finish at Warbeth where a car had been left, but it emerged that Jackie needed to join the dots between Warbeth and Stromness to complete his circumnavigation of mainland Orkney.
Skaill to Stromness, it now became.

Two of the group then so enjoyed rockhopping that they failed to see one breaker coming in that left them both out of their boats in knee high water!

Although against the neap tide, the final leg was calm and unchallenging finishing up taking a short cut under the pier.

All back in Stromness for 7.30pm.
While cars and kayaks were being reunited, the non-drivers managed a quick pint (on tick it seems) in Stromness!