I was going up to my friend Martin Rickard's at Voe today to take some photos of him using his newly carved greenland paddle, but the day has turned out to be pretty dull and grim. Instead we decide to go for a short paddle up Swinning Voe to West Lunna Voe.
You can see my last kayak visit here with Beren and Clare and a few photos of the voe, oddly enough on a similarly grey day.
It was nice to get on the water again for a gentle potter up the voe. We were heading out when I thought I noticed an otter in the far distance, so we cut the chat and gently carried on confirming that there were two in the water doing there ottery thing up ahead.
I didn't hold out much hope for us seeing anything other than them disappearing as we slowly drifted towards them with just the odd gentle stroke of the water. I was in a bright orange/yellow dry suit and though Martin had a black drysuit his deck was also bright orange, hardly camouflage!
Anyway we seemed to be getting closer with out them startling; watching one pop up and munch on it's breakfast once in a while before disappearing under the water for a short time.
We rafted up and enjoyed a good 5 minutes of watching otters between 15 and 30 foot from us. They were obviously interested in us and kept popping up and sniffing/snorting in our general direction, but despite the colours, our stillness and the fact that we were just floating there din't seem to bother them. One disappeared at one moment and we watched it's bubble trail over to a raft of weed and then noticed it taking a sneaky peek at us over the weed, while it's trail, less sneakily was wagging at the other side of the weed. Pretty comical really.
Eventually their feeding took them off away from us and we carried on, but what a wonderful few minutes of stillness and for all photos would have been great trying to get them would just have spoilt the moment.
We carried on a bit, Martin did some rolling with his new paddle and by all accounts the water was bloody freezing, colder than greenland he reckoned.We soon headed back towards our put-in, looking out for the otters again on our return trip, but we had no such look this time.
A cup of tea and a bacon butty and all was right in our little world!