This past few weeks I’ve done a lot of paddling on my own. If there’s one thing that you learn from paddling and training on your own, it’s how to appreciate good company when you get it.
Yesterday I joined up with a select rabble of sea kayakers. I can’t remember the last time I paddled with a Nuclear Physicist, a Sport Scientist, a Doctor, a Photographer and a Professor of Veterinary Medicine with a thing for wee worms.
The group’s plan was to leave from Portencross on the mainland and head to the Isle of Arran, the largest Island in the Firth of Clyde, going via the south end of Wee Cumbrae and the south end of the Isle of Bute.
The weather was flat calm, with a very light wind from the north. We left Portencross at somewhere approaching 09.30 and cruised at a leisurely pace. Before you could say ‘fruit flies like a banana’ we were already past Gull Point on Wee Cumbrae and were getting ashore on Bute. Paddling in company definitely makes a passage go quicker.
Standing on the shore there was definite ‘nip’ in the air, but we weren’t going to be here too long.
From Garroch Head over to Sannox on Arran is a crossing of about 6 miles.
Despite the wind shifting to the south this was covered in no time at all and still at a relatively relaxed pace. After another short shore break, that ‘nip’ was in the air again, we were off south for the last stint to Arran’s metropolitan port town Brodick (which is reportedly of Norse origin meaning Broad Bay).
View Arran 12 Dec 2010 in a larger map
We arrived in Brodick just over 6 hours after we’d left Portencross, which for 18 miles including two wee shore breaks wasn’t bad for a sociable days paddling. I’d bring this bunch to Stornoway with me, if it weren’t for that perpetual ‘nip’ in the air.