6.25 h to 18.25 h
N 55.20511 W 06.22651
This was a very nice paddle with company for the change! Catriona arrived at my camp spot sometimes around 3 or 4 am, slept just few hours in her car and was ready to meet me at 6 am as agreed. Perfect!
We had luck with the weather and tide being basically all day with us, in the wide bay of Portstewart a wide eddy made life easy getting the boring long beach quickly behind, and at tidal change hugging the coast was pleasant anyway. But we had so much to chat the whole day was not boring at all, just my throat suffers now a bit from too much talking after being by myself for such long time…
Giant’s Causeways and the whole Benbane Head was the treat area of the day, really impressive rock formations with those pillars structures! A shitload of tourists was visiting the area on a sunny Sunday holiday, but not anyone else on the water! Once more I felt privileged to have such an exclusive view of the natural beauties. A good length of the path was closed, and we pulled into one of the bays for a lunch stop, in most beautiful scenery behind us, and not a single tourist looking down on us!
We pulled up on a wee natural harbor on the rocks at lowest tide, spent probably an hour killing a whole freshly grilled bondaged chicken, having fresh raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, kiwis, bananas, apples, plums, blue grapes, green grapes, pears…Catriona once again brought a whole fresh fruit supermarket with her – and some white chocolate! We (mostly me…) were feasting for a while on all the goodies, until it was time to launch again.
Catriona unfortunately lost her camera on turning her boat around on the rock, but where she thought it fell into the water it was shallow rocks covered with sea weed. As the tide was now rising, she likes to be back tomorrow with a knife and goggles on lowest tide and will search for it – cutting the weed away from the rocks, and going for a low water dive…maybe she will be lucky! All those nice pictures of the day would be gone otherwise! I think chances are good for her to be successful.
And yes, I found two more for my naughty rock pillar collection – the ”Double Whopper” and “The Giant Billy”!
After Benbane Head, the coast was not as spectacular any more, but still offered a lot of beautiful caves, arches and play spots to explore everything on calm low swell a nice day! We were sitting there for some time watching the dense traffic of people crossing over a high rope bridge to some not very interesting island, judging the grade of being scared to cross it. Very funny! We were nicely paddling on shallow water with sandy ground underneath, while literally hundreds of people on every side waited patiently for the traffic light to change up there to be able to cross the bridge. Again…hehehe…! Down there it is much more exclusive…
We still covered over 50 km, despite the long lunch break and strolling around exploring every corner. If you’d be racing this day, you could quite easily cover double the distance!
Her partner was coming out on the last kilometers with his kayak to meet us and to drive her back to the car. Well organized! Thanks to Catriona giving me so nice company for an absolute magnificent paddling day, and thanks for feeding me so well! And yes, this time she got the right gas cartridge…thanks!
For camping, I chose a spot in the middle of the sandy town beach, which had some gravel piles for good camping and was furthest away from any houses, but had some low surf around high tide. And who made the most inelegant landing? Me…hehehe…the new kayak felt very different than what I was used to…
People are sneaking around my tent all evening taking pictures of my kayak…I can hear them nicely approaching when leaving the sand and entering my gravel pile! Ah yes, I am in the UK since crossing Londonderry Bay, and Scotland with the Mull of Kintyre was just 20 km across being nicely visible!