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Day 9 Crookhaven

Had a great night’s sleep on the lawn outside the Stone House B&B in Baltimore. Jerry and Rhianne who run it, provided us with a huge breakfast this morning to set us up for the day’s paddle. They are also on the RNLI crew and had arranged for us to store our boats safely by the lifeboat station. Thanks so much guys!

It was a late start as we had to repack the kayaks after picking up provisions for the west coast. However, the stiff easterly wind helped us on our way out of the safe haven of Baltimore harbour, past Sherkin Island and into the Atlantic.

We were ticking along nicely at 5 to 6 miles an hour in the following sea. As we rounded Sherkin Island and turned to run down the north side of Clear Island we got our first glimpse of the Fastnet Rock, Ireland’s teardrop. The last piece of Ireland that emigrants saw as they sailed to America.

After a brief stop for a stretch and a coffee in the harbour on Clear Island, we started the open crossing towards Crookhaven Harbour. As the wind strengthened behind us, we zipped along at a fair old rate, surfing the ocassional wave. For a while we were tempted to keep going round Mizen Head and aim for Portmagee. But that would have been another 25 miles. So after a couple of hours we entered the safe waters of Crookhaven by paddling through a cave in the headland. 

Coming through the other side we were treated with a scene straight out of Spring Watch. There on the rocks in front of us, was a sea otter eating a fish that it had just caught. Stunning! 

Jerry and Rhianne – The Stone B&B. 

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Jane (Geoff’s sister) and her husband, Gary and the lovely Emma who looked after us so well……and fellow kayaker 

     

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Great to meet you guys! And thanks for supper.

   
 

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Lunch Day 6

Great little spot for lunch on the way to Old Kinsale Head (blog update coming later….)

   
 

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Only 12 miles today as we were paddling into F5 which strengthened to F7. We decided it was best to head for shelter. So here we are in Bunmahon on the Copper Coast. Tomorrow is likely to be off the water as well – partly due to winds but also as we need to sort some kit repairs out.  

Having coffee and cake in the Copper Coast Geoparks cafe.

  

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First day faffing sorting out equipment and where to leave the car meant we didn’t get on the water till 10.45. 

The wind was against us all day but we’re really pleased how the new boats made progress. 18 miles down we were tempted to push on but that would mean committing to another 15 mile open crossing and a late finish. Perhap just a bit too much for the first day.

So here we are in our bivvys hoping to get some sleep and hoping for a big day tomorrow. 

We’ve already experienced the incredible hospitality of the Irish. Within 10 mins of landing this afternoon we were provided with a cuppa and a cake. An hour or so later the Irish equivalent of the WI were offering us more cake and sandwiches. Don’t think we’ll be going hungry this trip!

Our camp tonight….    

Night night Geoff! 

      

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A few days later than planned because of strong winds, but here we are in Rosslare ready for the off in the morning. Found a great little campsite and just gorged ourselves on chicken tikka.  

Winds forecast to be still fairly stiff against us tomorrow  so not anticipating big miles but will be great to get underway. 

If you fancy coming along with us for the ride, we’ll be posting the odd update here over the next few weeks.
Proud dad with his beautiful daughters in Bristol this morning:

  
The very last  car on the ferry….cut it a bit  fine:


 

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Eat, sleep and paddle

Thought I’d share the video Geoff and I made of our trip around GB in 2012 – 4 mins……..

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E.T.A update

Well, 6.30am and about to set off to get ourselves within a few miles of Portscatho.

We have been talking about this 24 hour for the last year I think.

We have had an absolutely amazing experience, made all the better by the incredible support we have had from friends, family and people we have never even met. Will take some time to thank people properly after we finish but for now, if you have sponsored us, made donations, wished us well on the blog or FB or just followed and enjoyed the journey. Thank you so much. You will never quite know how much it has meant to us.

Special thanks and love of course to Tanya and Sue. There were surely four of us paddling out there these last three months.

Portscatho Harbour 2pm Thursday.

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