Sunday, April 27, 2008

The sun beat down on a burnished sea.

The sun baked down from high in the azure vault of the sky. Last weekend in Scotland it was winter, this weekend it is spring! Tony and I were paddling ever more slowly on our passage NNE from Maidens to Ayr. In the intense heat, the sweat rolled down my burning forehead becoming ever more salty as the beads made their way through my salt encrusted eye brows before running into my bloodshot eyes, stinging and blinding as they went. For the hundredth time I wiped my eyes clear with my hat but the cotton was already saturated and the back of my neck burned as soon as it was exposed to the sun's rays. I could only imagine that Tony was in a similar state to myself. I was too weak to turn round but the gentle plip plop of his paddling reassured me that he was just behind.

High noon approached and our plight worsened. A faint voice quavered from behind.

"I need a drink."

I paddled slowly on without answering such a statement of the obvious. I had nothing left to drink either. Surrounded by water we were slowly but surely dehydrating and I could sense the approaching madness as our brain cells shrunk, stretching and straining their synapses.

The voice behind continued...

"Do ye think there might be somewhere we might stop for a wee drink?"

Well I am not exactly the world's greatest sea kayaking navigator but we were paddling with the Ayrshire coast on our right.

"If we keep paddling I think we might just pass the pub at Dunure?"

"Is it very far?"

I stopped paddling, leaned forward and pressed some buttons on my GPS. One of the stored way points was for the Anchorage Bar in Dunure, I pressed another button and was just able to read the distance before drops of sweat obscured the tiny screen.

"It's 5 kilometers."

"Sure but that's 5000 meters, it's too far."

The plip plop of paddling behind me stopped.

"Would you like a pint of Guinness?"

Just the thought had me drooling in a Pavlovian slaver, further exacerbating my desperate state of dehydration.

"Tony I would love one but we need to keep paddling."

I paddled on in silence. There was no sound from behind. I rested my paddle on my cockpit rim and drifted to a stop on the windless, burning sea. Slowly and stiffly I turned, fearing the worst.

At first I couldn't see anything, as I was squinting into the fierce glare of the sun. Then I saw Tony.......

"Sure now, would ye no' like a wee drink o' Guinness?"