Tuesday, October 16, 2007
At the weekend I got thinking about adventure on the water. In Scotland we have what must be some of the best paddling in the world, mostly within a day's drive/ferry trip from the main cities.
On Sunday we paddled past three ancient castles, old harbours, small coves, wide surf beaches, caves, stacks, headlands and waterfalls plunging off cliffs into the sea. We had great views of an ancient volcanic island rising sheer out of the sea and the western horizon was filled with another island's lofty granite ridges disappearing into the clouds. Seals followed us while the air was filled with flocks of oyster catchers and sandpipers. Curlews, herons, geese, mallard ducks and swans were feeding round the shoreline and rafts of eider duck were forming offshore.
The waters ranged from flat calm (where we were sheltered from the southerly winds of up to force 5) to quite interesting round the headlands. There was even a pub that serves dry suited thirsty paddlers at the half way point! All in all just about a perfect days paddling. Had we driven far? Had we flown to another land? Had we burned large amounts of precious hydrocarbons getting to this exotic location? Well the photo above is just 50km from my front door and our landing spot was 30 minutes drive from home.
I guess the message is that we do not always have to traverse the planet to look for adventure, sometimes its on your own doorstep. The other side of this coin is that you should never become complacent sea kayaking on your home waters. As soon as you leave the beach you enter another world and you should be prepared for adventure. All my unexpected "epics" have been on home waters on the Firth of Clyde.
Cailean and Michael have also written (more timely posts) on environmental themes, I meant to post this yesterday but was up all night preparing documents for work.
Blog Action Day was yesterday!