Every time I’ve thought about Vikings since I’ve known of Led Zeppelin I end up with Immigrant Song in my head.
So today I went to test my new Kokatat Expedition Dry Suit. It’s phenomenal, light, easy to zip yourself into and dry, of course. The only potential leaks were averted by not getting over excited, had I borrowed my daughters nappies I might have let go.
One thing I have noticed in this last year though is that unless its pretty rough, 70N of buoyancy in a PFD, plus air in a dry suit stops me from capsizing.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know, but good bracing definitely fills the gap between capsize and roll or eternally floating on one’s side.
While I was thrashing around, I also thought I’d test the tracking on the GPS spot tracker Ed Wardle lent me. The good thing about it being connected to the internet is you can see when you’ve left it on from the comfort of your own home. The down side is that you have to leave that comfort to retrieve it and switch it off. I am now confident that my ‘Where is Bruce?’ page will work for the journey. The only issue is the requirement of the user/viewer to adjust the side bar and bottom bar out of sight.
When I was getting off the water the Pencil caught my eye. It was built in 1912 to commemorate the Battle of Largs in 1263, which was allegedly the last large battle with the Vikings on Scottish soil. Locally it is seen as a victory for the Scots but as is always the case with history the facts are not so straight forward.
The journey I’m about to embark on will be through the lands of this very history. The history of the Scots, the Gaels and the Vikings. Where the sons of Olaf, the MacAuliffes became MacAuley’s and the Nicholsons the McNicols. The Norse blood runs thick through the Islands beyond Largs. Maybe I’ll meet a distant cousin without knowing it, or maybe I’ll just run up some beaches wailing ‘Great Odin’s Beard!’ like a madman.
The Norse blood coursing through my veins must have felt enlivened at the prospect.