Saturday, November 21, 2015

The sound of heavy guns and a mushroom cloud rising over the Solway.


As we turned to the west we left Little Ross Island and the sound of heavy gunfire at the Dundrennan Range far behind.

The dramatic cliffs, stacks and skerries of this stretch of coast make an amazing contrast to the sheltered wooded coastline, which we had just left in Kirkcudbright Bay.

 We were now sheltered from the north wind and the sun on the rocks made it feel almost balmy...

...though in the shade of the narrow passages it was already very cold. We came across...

...this lion rampant mimetolith as we emerged into the sunlight again.

More gunfire from the range accompanied our return to the open sea. Even though we were now some distance away, the reverberations of some particularly heavy rounds shook the channel walls and our chests.

Once clear of the cliffs at Fauldbog Bay we looked back to discover a huge mushroom cloud. What on earth were they firing?

 Beyond the boundaries of Brighouse Bay the breach...


 ....in the cliffs ended and the rocks reared up again.

  The wind swung round to the east and we benefited as it was no longer being broken up by the cliffs.

The wind assistance was most welcome as...

 ...we still had a long...

 ...long way to go. Once round Ringdoo Point we made for...

 ...Castle Haven Bay where we had left a stash of firewood.

The tide was dropping and the day was fading fast as we paddled into the bay. Our stash of firewood was actually a wooden pallet and we did not have long to demolish it. Ian broke the main timbers with a boulder before tackling the smaller pieces with a saw. I removed the nails so that they would not puncture our dry bags, which we attached to our back decks. The whole operation had taken just over 15 minutes but the bay had rapidly emptied. We really needed to press on. An 8m tide in the Solway goes out a long way...

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