Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sleeping Grey Dogs

Leaving the Pool of the Song, we felt another pull. This time it was the pull of the Grey Dogs tidal race. It was spring tides maximum flow and there was not a breath of wind so we could hear the Dogs growling from some way off. Phil said "We are not going through there are we?"

"Oh no!" said Tony, quite truthfully, as we carefully vetted the Dogs' condition through the south channel before...

...turning in to the straighter north channel. Just as we passed the point of no return, Tony quietly said "Phil, see when we turn the corner, just after this wee island? Just keep paddling".

Tony led the way down the inverted "V" between the worst of the eddylines as the water sloped downhill between the gap. Phil stuck to his stern. I brought up the rear, ready to pick up any pieces.

There was ony about 4 or 5 standing waves and then we were through onto flat, boily water at 18km/hour.

The stirred up water extends...

...well to the west of the Dogs.

But at last we hit calm water again. Phil was noticably moved by his recent experience. "Was that like a grade 4 river?" he asked. We hadn't the heart to tell him it was only grade 2!

By now Phil had regained his composure: "What an experience !.. Only one thing guys... Where is my badge ?"

"Now, now, Phil, if it's wee bajes yer efter, ye'll jus' need tae jine a club!"

We were very lucky to hit the Grey Dogs when they were sleeping. If there is any westerly wind or swell then they can be rather different.

We would not have taken Phil through the Grey Dogs...

...if we had found conditions to be like these two recent trips.