Sunday, 6 August 2017

Head winds! We love them.

Now let's see.. Day 5 was the last time we had wind in the back.. Day 6 was calm but foggy and day 7 - 24 it has either been too strong winds to be on the water or strong winds in the face. Every morning we sit in our boats and remind ourselves we love headwinds.

Day 16 was the first day Frida and I were just two. We left Vibeke on the beach with all her things waiting for Jon to pick her up. It was a weird feeling but we wanted to continue and had agreed beforehand if anyone left the group it was ok to continue. So we waved goodbye and were on our way.. Into the head winds.

We managed to cross the bay and sit out for a few hours in hope for the winds to drop before heading around Galley head. Pushing against the winds and big clappotous waves we got around. The aim was rabbit Island but decided to get off the water before that and aimed at crossing the bay and into Owenachincha. On the way over a dolphin popped up right next to my kayak. I was petrified. He was jumping around. I could have reached him with my hand. Scary! Anyway we landed on the beach and greeted by a few locals. We got our tent up and moments later a family we had spoken too come by.. 'Delivery!' two bags of chips and a cup of tea each. Ahh how kind. Thanks. The weather wasn't looking good for the following day so we decided to sleep in and have a rest day. The tent really making some noise in the night.. Turned out to be a good choice. The next morning there came another delivery from the chip shop. Tea and biscuits for breakfast. Wow, so we went over to say thanks and stayed there the rest of the day charging our batteries and eating food. Weather wasn't looking much better but we were running out of cash and decided we would push on the following day.

Day 18.. Pushing along against the head winds. Think it was our shortest day in distance with just 14km but we were probably still out there for our average 6 hours of paddling. We did make it to rabbit Island for lunch which was great and pushed along to a small cove where we camped. After watching the rocks to my right not get anywhere for a while it was time to call it a day. We camped near a small farm where two dogs joined us for the evening.

Day 19. The winds were looking better.. Just a 7m/s headwind. We wake up at 0400 to catch the last of the tide around toe Head and onto Baltimore.. Bit of a break in Baltimore ready to then catch the ebb up to Crookhaven. Good day just 0.3km short of 50km.we were happy.

Day 20 the forecast was south westerly 14m/s.. Not what we wanted for going around Mizen Head. So we stayed weather bound in Crookhaven for day 20 and 21. The locals and regular holiday makers made us feel very welcome. A kind gentleman tried to support our charity but it's not so easy being in Norwegian. So he paid for our drinks and meals in the pub to support. Thanks for your generosity. Really appreciated. My mum and John also came to visit us on day, 21. They took us out to Mizen head signal station so we could see if the forecast was really doing what it said. And it was big out there. Waves crashing up high over the rocks and the winds blowing in. Good decision to stay on land.

Day 22 the winds had dropped from 14m/s to just 8m/s north westerly. Time to pack up and head around Mizen head. We were on the water at 0630 to catch the tide. Woke up a big otter sleeping in the water. He scared us half to death.. Being to quiet that time of morning. The winds were strong, waves and swell were pretty big too.. But we would have to get around at some point so today way the day. We head on. Help from the tide but against the wind. Our aim was dursey Island but after the tide dropped off we were going just over two knots into the wind and after 5hrs of paddling already
we decided to hit nearest land which was still a few hours away. Having woken up early there wasn't much movement in the bowels. Which meant for us both at some point during the morning there was a need for going to the toilet. Mm.. I was the first one to take a swim. Clipped my tow line onto my boat and indeed had a poo in the sea. Frida was a bit more reluctant and tried to hold it.. After many hours of pain in her belly and still hours from shore she gave in and took a dip. 38km into a Headwind was hard work. Our bodies very sore and blisters starting to brew. We made it to Pullen harbour.. Miles from anywhere it would be headwinds again the next day.

Day 23 again we are on the water for 0600 to catch the tides going through Dursey sound. Head winds were strong going west and the gusts were even stronger.. But we were going to get there. Digging deep for energy we pushed on. My mum being in the area the thought go through our minds. Shall we go home spend a few weeks paddling in Wales? Nope we are going around Ireland.. Headwinds or not.. It's not been the most motivating but we will push on at least until the end of August and then see where we are. I have to be back to start until on the 18th September so we are hoping the winds will drop for us to get around by then. It is taking a little longer than we expected. But not much we can do about the weather. We get around Dersey and into Allihies when we met my mum again. She treated us to dinner and beer. Lovely to see them and good with real food in our bellies.

Winds have picked up again today. Day 24. But it's looking better for the week to come. Yeah!!

- Ashley

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