5.00 to 16.05 h
N 51.66710 W 08.52767
Kinsale/ Old Head
A calm November day – foggy, drizzly, gray, chilly, with frozen bottom from the thighs down all day. I organized the sending of my dry suit to Ireland. Thanks to Ilona packing it and to Jon receiving it! What would I be without all my friendly helpers… Not sure why I decided I will not need it here, high time to get back used to the Northern hemisphere paddling…
I got up with first light and had breakfast an hour later on the water as usual when it is calm. I crossed Ballycotton Bay, could just avoid to collide with some fishing boats and ended up almost banging on the harbor wall – such thick fog! Good to have a GPS. Later, I rather hand railed along the beautiful cliffs in the line of smaller bays to see at least something. I may have spent a few km more than on direct line, stopped frequently to nurse my sore finger, and wasted many minutes on the water doing necessary office work. Who is in a hurry? Paddling was easy, my elbows felt all right, but, if this painful finger wouldn’t be there…A bunch of fat seals were pleasing my eyes in those few fog-free moments, but to take a picture they were too shy to stay on the rocks.
I rock-hopped here and there, and the highlight of the day was a looooong cave just before Kinsale bay. I carefully paddled inside, the swell was low, the roof high and the walls about few more than arm length apart. Something shimmering light at the end raised my curiosity even more, it turned out to be some reflecting day light from a huge opening at the end of the estimated ten kayak length of the big cave. No exit for a kayak though! Quite an attractive, but a bit scary place! Backing out again, I managed to bang my stern only once, one needs to be flexible with no back mirror behind you! I love caves…
Where to camp tonight? Wind raised quite late and less strong tan yesterday, but the crossing up to Old Head I postponed for tomorrow when I saw a narrow beach lurking at the other side between Kinsale and the Old Head. The shiny sand to the right of the beach was obviously disappearing on high tide, but my well trained beach spotting eyes considered the right part of that white stripe with some cobbles high enough to stay dry. Just perfect! But tide was still low, and I had to land careful at some rocky beach. It was the perfect campsite, though I got a friendly offer from Jon Hynes to put me up for tonight, if I found a remote beach, I prefer to camp to get enough rest and to be able to be gone early tomorrow morning without bothering anyone. Thanks anyway for the offer, Jon! I am not too needy for a proper shower yet and weather is still good for at least two more days