Woken up by an old dear at 5am asking me if I was cold, “no, just tired.” She returned a few hours later with a bacon roll and hot chocolate, I scoffed and went back to sleep then launched too late as always.
The launch was a real pain. Evil dumping surf onto chunky stones and when I ran through 5 imaginary launches, I got munched on 4 of them. So I wheeled round to an only slightly beter spot and had my hat ripped off my head on entry.
After the soggy start, it was a tentative paddle along the coast as heavy swells threatening to turn into breakers rolled through. A couple of ‘turn and burn’ moments as I would pull a hard and fast left then huge airtime as I climbed over the lip of big waves. The penalty for mistakes here would be massive as the landing was crag. The sea had a stinking attitude on it today; my pasta, pesto and spam turned into a more briney affair.
After rubbernecking a heli rescue (training I think), I found myself in gannet heaven. Literally thousands of my favourite seabird patrolling the skies around a huge nesting area. I couldnt really enjoy the moment though as it was dawning on me that I hadn’t seen a safe landing all day and it was now late into the afternoon. A text from fellow circumnavigator, Martin Lee to say he’d been wiped out only 20 miles ahead, did little to ease my worries. Luckily I had Bangor legend, friend and scholar, Dan Ward meeting me. A quick call ahead gave him chance to find me a landing and I sneaked my way into Rosehearty harbour.
Was a real treat to see a familiar face and we didnt waste any time heading over to the spot Wardy had earmarked for camping. Dan introduced me to the lovely Pip, or ‘wench’ as he put it, before we cooked on a fire and got started on the wine.
Dan Ward, a man who gives straight answers to crooked questions and the only person I’ve ever seen hold a wet finger into the wind to check its direction (not as a joke). Hero.
More pics in the gallery…