Imagine you are at the edge of the sea on a day when it is difficult to say where the land ends and the sea begins and where the sea ends and the sky begins. Sea kayaking lets you explore these and your own boundaries and broadens your horizons. Sea kayaking is the new mountaineering.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
A close encounter of the Bres kind en route to Lady Isle.
I set off from Culzean Bay at a very acceptable rare of knots. Sadly Tony's progress was only half of a very acceptable rate of knots. (BTW don't you just love that special "Vaseline on the lens" effect you get with waterproof cameras like the Pentax Optio?)
The only decent thing to do was to stow the sail and let Tony catch up!
Although the town of Ayr was on the horizon, the coastline south of the Heads of Ayr was wild and remote.
We took a break for second luncheon on the delightful rocky shore below Drumbain. The Drumbane Burn tumbled down a series of waterfalls before pouring right onto the shore.
From Drumbane we set off across Ayr Bay for Lady Isle on a compass bearing of 8 degrees magnetic. We were assisted by a little southerly wind and a gentle swell. Lady Isle was 12 km distant and even though it has a lighthouse, it was below the horizon. About the same time that we finally made visual contact with Lady Isle, we noticed a great red ship leaving Ayr Harbour. At first it looked like MV Jytte Bres would pass well in front of us but right on cue, she altered course and steamed straight for us. A right angled turn to starboard and some very brisk paddling was now required. Tony didn't seem particularly delighted when I offered to hoist my sail, (with the sole intention of trying to attract the helm's attention).
We were only too pleased to yield right of way but I did have the VHF, flare and camera flash (not to mention the sail) ready! The Jytte Bres's bow is not exactly kayak friendly, being reinforced to break Baltic ice. A wide angle lens makes her look a long way off but we were pretty close. I doubt her helm had even spotted us as we...
...would have been lost in the glare of the low winter sun. The MV Jytte Bres was built in 1999 and sails under the Danish flag. She is an 89 by 13.17m dry cargo carrier designed to carry paper reels packaged timber and other timber products and has a cruising speed of 12.5knots. She can also carry steel coils and parts of windmills. From Ayr she was headed down the Irish sea bound for Newhaven in the English Channel.