We had a fairly grim forecast, with strong gale force winds from the North which meant cold temperatures and a good solid swell running. thankfully so of that blew through and with Orkney being made up of over 70 islands, protection can often be found.
South Ronaldsay, East coast from water sound down and around Helcro Head, on to Old Head and then back up Wind Wick was the day. A super mix of playful surf at the start, swell and rock hoping, big clifts, caves, stunning arches and sea stacks, an amazing blow hole, some tidal flow and a small race and an intro to the magical Orkney.
Dat 2 saw us still avoiding the forecasted swell and the Deerness peninsular was paddled. Trolly stunning coastline up near Mull Head and whats known as a Gloop - cave, were the roof has fallen in, so daylight is seen, and then back into a cave. Must have been 200 mt in length!
Day 3 was really wild with lots of rain so we saw the local delights and various neolithic sites.
Day 4 although still windy, we went for a down wind run in the protected Scapa Flow. The result 18 km covered in 2 hours! As one of the team said they did more surfing in that 2 hours than they had done in the last year!!
Days 5 and 6 and we finally had a more settled forecast and the potentially of an overnight. Fins town with the Westerly wind on our backs and into the String (the sound between Mainland Orkney and Shapinsay, around Berwick Head and South to The Ness and a super wild campsite.
Douglas with the cannon lookout on the right!
A beautiful breakfast sunny morning, set us up for the day with a crossing to Shapinsay and a visit to the local cafe and super cute puppy only a few weeks old ...
The finish of our paddling, back at Finstown and a super happy bunch. Well done Julie for managing the guys and to all for making it a super trip, despite the mixed weather.
We crossed on the ferry with a super blue sky silky sea day, which would have been perfect with the SE wind to have paddled from Scotland to the Orkney. Another time!
Interested in Orkney? In 2017 there is a sea kayak festival on Orkney, i will be there and also offering a similar course beforehand. Details on a Coastal Spirit course will be out around Nov/December, so watch this space for 2017!