Day 25. After being optimistic reading the weather forecast in Allihies, we set off in hope to reach Valentia Island. Things in the bay as always were looking calm and we head off. A bit undecisive of which route to take we made the decision to cross over to islands x where on the map looked to be a landing. It turned out although the wind had dropped a few m/s it was still holding us back and the paddle was long and hard. As we get to the islands there is no landing spots and already been sat in our boats for a few hours it would have been nice with lunch.. But we are force to press on to the headland. After a struggle already we start having the conversation is this worth it? Are we having fun? We don't want to dislike kayaking after this experience. So we decided to land our boats in Ballinskellings Bay and have a real think about our trip and what really is possible.
We get on land and have a silent rule where we don't discuss things on an empty tummy. So stoves come out food goes down and then comes out the diary and calculator. We came to the conclusion we would have to paddle an average of 45km a day to get around by the end of August and looking at the weather forecast for the coming week it wasn't looking like we were getting anywhere. So we came to a realistic conclusion if we were to still enjoy kayaking, stay friends and not burn ourselves out we would have to make some changes to our trip. We still have two and a bit weeks and we want to stay here in Ireland but perhaps enjoy ourselves and not bust the gut for something we most likely aren't going to do. So we made the decision to book our tickets home at the end of August when we go back to work and take a more relaxed approach to the rest of our trip continuing along the coast. Perhaps Galway will be a nice place to finish and then we can enjoy the other half at a later time.
It was very hard for us to change our trip from circumnavigation to not circumnavigating. The dream of going around. But sometimes if weather and time don't permit there isn't much we can do except accept. And make decisions accordingly. After realising that it isn't a fail and we will be back to enjoy the rest we started enjoy our adventure again.
The trip so far has definitely been a huge learning for us all. And we can really reflect on our experiences and make thing better and smoother next time. Which is a great feeling.
The weather not looking good day 26 and 27 we spend in Ballinskellings. We took a tour to the chocolate factory with chocolate tasting and Frida bought a chocolate sheep she wanted to take home to Norway with her. Bad weather means wind.. There was still sun. Sadly the sheep didn't survive the heat and Frida needed to quickly eat him up. We picked up another package of food so now we have enough for the rest of the trip.. And enjoyed of course a pint of Guinness in the pub.
Day 28 finally south westerly winds. We set off from Ballinskellings to then paddle for a few hours with the amazing view of Skelligs Island. Would have been an experience to land out there but we chose to use the good weather to continue on our route. We got through portmagee channel with wind and tide in the back was nice to have some boat speed for a change then landing on Beginish Island.
We set up camp with the sheep. There is a little hut on top that looked like we could hike up. So we took on the challenge having landed quite early. Through ferns and long grass and yellow spikey things.. I give up half way while I wait for Frida to make the summit. Recommended Wellington boots if anyone is to take on the challenge.
Day 29. We wake up on Beginish Island wind taking the doors on our tent and a pool of water inside.. It was not motivating to get out of the sleeping bag. Raining. And I look out of the tent to see thick fog. Mm.. With a crossing ahead. We stretch out getting ourselves ready as much as we could to the find ourselves ready to go on the water. Dingle here we come. We have our bearing of about 10° and plan to hit the westerly bay and then hand rain into Dingle. We head out of the portmagee channel waves towering over us with a westerly breeze. Radio in position for any boat traffic. And we head off towards Dingle. Through the thick fog is quite tiring on the eyes and you really have to trust in your bearing. Losing sight of shore all around. About an hour in Frida mentions feeling a bit unwell and I'm not having the best of days. We were OK to continue. To then look around to see Frida throwing up her banana bread.. Oh dear.. Everything OK? Thought of escape going through my mine. We didn't have too many options. She kept paddling.. And then I think it was her breakfast coming up too. Oh dear. Lots of water and she carried on. Bless her. After an interesting crossing we start to see land and head towards Dingle. Just coming around the headland from the west a line of tourist boats start driving out of Dingle. And one crazy boat decided to drive straight for us. My paddle went up and the others slowed down and changed direction but one didn't seem to have a pilot. We had to paddle pretty quickly out of its course. He was swerving everywhere. But finally we made it safely into Dingle.