Monday, 12 July 2010

Uyea, or knowing when to stop!

After a hard race yesterday I still couldn't resist the chance to get out for a paddle when I saw the forecast this morning. Southerly wind and swells and neither too much. Uyea up off north west mainland semed like a good bet. More or less an east to west run along an interesting coastline to the island with a break on there to stretch my legs, take some photos and picnic before returning. A long paddle but with plenty of time and plenty of chances to pull in if need be. Or so I thought.

Here's the start at Sandvoe, gorgeous

Looking inland over Loch of Flugarth

The paddle started off fine until I got to rounding the Ness. From there I could see swell coming in and some breaking on the northern shore. Mmm...  not what I was expecting. As I paddled round Roer Tong the swell was definitely building and I was having to avoid some eddies and holes close to some of the outcrops. I was sure I could see what looked like peaked mountain ranges further out. Not a good sign!

Any how I paddled on, wary and keeping a close eye on the sea, hoping that there might be a way through what might just be some feature related rough sea. By the time I'd got to just past Wester Keolka I knew it was time to go back. The swell had built to between 1 and 2m and wasn't just clean swell with a good interval it was getting messier all the time. Then I could see Uyea in the distance, but there was no way I was going to get there, the sea was just to big and messy for me.

Turning round was the worst time. Not a lot of interval in the swell and it being a bit choppy. I kept telling myself to relax, lengthen and widen, but with bracing and riding the swell I spent a bit of time broad side and a bit more get from broad side to having the sea behind me. All I had to do now was paddle back with a sea behind me that was more than I'm used to in a sea kayak. Most of my time on the sea has been in sit on top kayaks, more stable and easy to just right and get back on top if need be.

Thankfully I was soon out of the worst of it and then back into the bay, and fairly relieved too. I do carry VHF, flares and have a bouyancy aid, but the idea is not to need them!

I got out the kayak and my legs were pretty numb. Not sure if it was me being tense or some adjustment of the seating position being needed. After only 45 minutes paddling I shouldn't have numb legs. They soon returned to normal after a stretch and some grub and drink.

Then I returned to the bay a spent a bit of time practising braces, other strokes, ladder/cowboy re-entries and trying to roll (and failing). I was totally shattered by the time I dragged me and the kayak out of the water. It would have been bad enough without the fun and activity of the last few days.

So now I need to stop! I know it's my holidays but I need to stop! I need to rest! I need to get back to managing my activity and balancing it with plenty of sitting and relaxation.

Doesn't mean I'll be doing nothing, but may be you'll see a few places on here in future where I've just been to be...

1 comment:

  1. Scary swell! Sounded exciting.
    Nice top picture too :-)