Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Adventures sans camera

My first nights sleep in over a fortnight was disturbed by some faint ringing sound. In a daze of where am I, when is it and what's going on I stumbled down stairs to the phone. To my fuggled amazement it was light, very light. I've not slept due to a really annoying sore throat and accompanying loss of voice for a week, so I grabbed the phone and tried to speak into it. Poor Martin at the other end must have though he'd got some deranged donkey-cross-wildebeast on the other end.

'Do I won't to come out kayaking?' - is the Pope Catholic?
'Can you get here for 9.30?' - cough splutter, try to speak - erm what time is it anyway
'8.10' - Wow, result I've slept a night! I don't mind been woken up to go kayaking at all.

So hurredly I let out and fed the hens and dog, chucked my stuff in the car, loaded the kayak. I suddenly remembered I might need a feed too and a drink! And then I was off, apparently passing other very jealous friends who were on their way to work and didn't miss the bright yellow kayak on my car as I whizzed north.

A friend of his has got a new fandangled sail for his kayak and very sensibly wants to try it out in company some were reasonably sheltered. So we meet at Vidlin and paddle out around 4km into the wind to Lunna Kirk. As we got further out it there was a reasonable swell on with a few bits just starting to creast occasionally. When we got to Lunna Kirk I got out to stretch my legs and have second breakfastses, while they bobbed about not wanting to scratch their very nice boats on the rocky shore.

Soon it's time for the return trip down wind. Him under sail and us under arm power behind him. It took him a while to get used to it, but once the sail was reasonably set he was off at about 5 or 6 knotts according to my GPS as we paddled on behind to keep up. His anenometer said it was about force 4 wind; it also said it was a balmy 3c, -0.5c with wind chill. Just to emphasise this we got a brief hail shower, refreshing!

His sail was a well made product costing over £300 similar to the above, but I found a pattern for one on the web and I've now made one for about £10 with odd bits and polytarp, though I've got an old spinnaker that i'm going to sew up to make a proper job. The poly tarp will do for now though!

Oh, forgot to mention we went up past the salmon farms and had a quick chat to the workers. There was a random cricket/grasshopper sound which was pretty odd. They told us it's a seal scarer and that they reckon it does work. Apparently it puts out frequencies into the water that seals don't like, a bit like the controversial mosquito devices that some shops were using the other year to keep adolescents from hanging around outside!

Later that evening my friend who'd passed me on his way to work suggested a walk with his new mad dog 'Fluffy Wuffy' (really!) AKA Fluffy Ted, AKA Ted, AKA that £!£"%!!! dog. So we went off towards Tresta and an old track that leads up to a communications tower. It was a lovely, if not chilly evening. After the track to the tower all went boggy woggy as we squelched and jumped, but luckily didn't sink our way across the peat tops to the next ridge where there was a test tower for the proposed and controversial Viking Energy Windfarm. We put the world to rights as we splodged about before descending back to the main road in the near dark with out any injuries, just an aching knee for me. By the time we were back at the car it was dark, but we'd had a good bracing walk and some fine views. Views that make you realise how narrow and small Shetland is when you're up 'high'. OK I did wish I'd taken my camera, but it was 'brally fine' to go for a walk unhindered.

Today. Jobs to do. There's new hinges to go on the hen enclosure door, a swing to put up in the tree for Beren, washing and a few people to meet for boat related things.

Clare and beren are currently on their way up to Aberdeen by train; then the overnight ferry to Lerwick and I'll meet them at 7am tomorrow. Really missed them this last week, but I know they've had a good time away.

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