Friday night we wild camped at Gibraltar Point (aka south Skegness). The sunset cast a deep orange glow across the sky and we could just make out the lights on the north Norfolk coast as it got darker. It was an eerily quiet evening. I guess most were glued to the TV watching the opening ceremony. I climbed into my tent, pulled out the iPhone and to my surprise I had a great signal and was able to join about 1 billion others who also watched opening ceremony. Thought it was brilliant. Pitched perfectly and made me feel very proud to be British.
Saturday morning was a short hop across the Wash – 17 miles. A key milestone as it means we have only one more significant crossing left – the Thames Estuary. We managed to get stream all the way and landed the other side in under 4 hours. The Wash is a tidal gate so north of it the flood tide flows south and ebb north, south of it and it’s the other way round. That means if you time it right you can cross with stream all the way. We did and it was glorious to average over 4.5knts!
We pushed on further to Wells Next to the Sea where my sister, Jane and her family together with my mum were waiting to meet us. It was so good to see them. And so good of them to make the journey to see us. Thanks guys! A visit like this at the start of the trip would have been hard emotionally I think to say goodbye again but now as we approach the final stages it is almost a welcome home visit. A good morale booster.
Sunday we made it as far as Bacton Gas Terminal and as I finish writing this blog update in my tent on the sea defences this Monday morning I can hear it hum in the background.
The paddle yesterday was great. 30 miles with mostly a tail wind and good stream in our favour most of the way. The only excitement for the day was getting caught in a massive thunder storm. We saw the dark cloud coming over. Geoff had spotted a nice cafe and some shelter. He suggested we stop but I thought it would miss us and we should paddle on. Got that one wrong.
We popped our video cameras on to record the torrential rain which flattened the sea and bounced back up a few Inches to create a mist like layer over the water. Just as we were marvelling in the scene the lightening and thunder started. We made our way to shore but no place to land because of the sea defences along this coast. So we carried on, hunkering down trying to stop the rain going down our necks. Didn’t work. Forked lighting now and hail stones. Painful on the hands so we rafted up for a few minutes. And then it was over. Can’t wait to see that footage when we get back!
Aiming for south of Gt Yarmouth today!