Day 57 Hythe-Hastings

Rapid get on then a pretty odd morning. There was headwind from the word go and looking out toward Dungeoness there were banks of heavy fog loitering with intent. I planned to hug the coast as one does in fog and obliviously cut into a red flagged firing range.

The sirens on the patrol boat were enough to make me realise instantly what I’d done. They (very politely) asked that I head 3 miles directly seaward and remain 3 miles offshore for 15 miles along the coast (about 4 hours!). Going offshore in the thick fog was strongly unappealing and perhaps the reason why the patrol boat escorted me 10 miles to Dungeoness where a second patrol boat turned up. They gave me 1 hour to make it a across the second range. Sure enough the shots were popping no sooner than I’d crossed the range line, I gave my thanks and goodbye to the patrol boys who told me they’d found the blog. Top guys.

So I’d missed a look at Camber Sands and had a fairly laborious morning but under the scrutiny made great time, headwind considered.

At Winchelsea I took lunch and said a quick (ish) bye to Jess who today heads back to Falmouth. The evening session was tranquil. Paddling past Hastings felt like watching a documentary, there’s something about that twilight hour…

I weaved my way through the eerily beautiful burnt out pier and made land. An earlier phone call to Hastings canoe club and a kind favour from Jason; board member and good guy meant that I could look forward to a warm welcome. I snapped up the shower offer and camped outside the clubhouse complete with all necessary facilities. Result.

Real thanks to the patrol boats and to Jason of Hastings canoe club. There is no way I could have done that distance safely otherwise.

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