Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Your 5 Best Paddles

One thing which we often talk about when out sea kayaking is what are the best 5 day trips that you have ever done.  I think that every time I consider which are my favourites I come up with slightly different ones although there are often a couple of the old favourites.
So when you are having lunch on a rock somewhere, sitting around the camp fire on a remote island or just having a pint in your favourite pub why not give it some thought and see what you come up with.  What's great about this is that there are no rules apart from the fact that the paddles have to be on the tidal waters.
Here are my favourite 5 for today:
 Selecting a paddle from my local waters is always difficult but the Ecrehous always have to be in there.  I first paddled out there in August 1974 and have been going back ever since.  The landscape is always changing as the height of the tide varies.  A warm summers day is a favourite but its also memorable being out there in the middle of the winter when you have the reef to yourself.
 A late evening paddle down to the Statue of Liberty, returning to Manhattan as darkness sets in is superb.  To see the city skyline at night from the water is one of the worlds greatest views.
 If there is one destination that all sea kayakers should aspire to visit it is Greenland.  The combination of mountainous scenery, ice bergs and wildlife combine to create somewhere really special.  On this day in northern Disko Bay all three came together in superb weather.
 We had been paddling for nearly 4 weeks and couldn't quite believe that we were actually going to paddle around Nordkapp, it had seemed so distant when we had left Tromso.  But we woke one morning to calm seas and blue skies so seized the opportunity to paddle around this famous headland.  The next morning there was a gale blowing, so it was a case of being in the right place at the right time.  Although this was in 1986 and I can still remember the experience as if it was only a couple of months ago. 
Scotland should really be in and this was a great day heading towards Coruisk.  Nicky and myself had driven from Gordon and Morag's house in thick fog, it suddenly cleared as we dropped down the hill into Elgol.  The Small Isles to the south and the Cuillins to the north were completely cloud free.  Lunch in Coruisk was more like a picnic in the Med.  We were also able to wander around Soay without being eaten alive by midges.  One of those days when you know you will always return to Scotland.

So that's my five for today but I think that I have already got it wrong.  What about Polyaegos and Milos, Sark or just the south west corner of Jersey.  This can lead to endless hours of discussion amongst sea kayakers.

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