Having had an email from Mike Robson forwarded to me by Sabina Neall, about a forthcoming paddle from Whitby to Robin Hood's Bay and back this coming Sunday, I was all set to travel up to Whitby. The only trouble was as I looked out of my window on the Saturday evening, it was blowing one hell of a gale out there, with rain coming down in buckets and the tress being blown sideways! I phoned Mike up and asked "Are you sure the trip is still on tomorrow?". Apparently, I was not the only one; Mike's phone was red-hot that night with similar calls. So duly leaving home at 06:00 in the morning, I drove to Whitby arriving in sunshine at 08:30. Just in time for some breakfast!
Unfortunately having had the wind and swell pushing us along on the way here, we were now going to be well and truly heading back into the wind and swell. It was definitely going to be a bit of a slog back. By this time, my GoPro batteries had died by this time so there were no more pictures (unfortunately). Having left Robin Hood's Bay, as we arrived at Ness Point, Mike and I were suddenly confronted by a couple of freak big waves. We climbed over the first one to hit us, but on the second wave, I went what felt like almost vertical, before landing slightly sideways. Suddenly I was needing to practice my roll. I just relaxed and waited for the boat to come around and without thinking, back deck rolled. I am a playboater after all! This was my first ever roll in anger in my Sea Kayak! I have to say I was quite pleased with myself, as up until this point I was not 100% sure I could pull off a roll in an emergency. It's a bit like having learned to roll in a swimming pool and then having to do it for real in a river...
It was a lot rougher now on the way back with the odd spell of rain too. Having made 5-6 mph on the way down we were struggling to make 3 mph on the way back. Mostly 2 mph. No wonder it felt twice as far back to Whitby. The bow of my boat seemed to be constantly going through waves now rather than over them! Back at the harbour mouth we decided not to use the cut through, as we had done on the way out, as we could see breakers protecting this entrance. However, it was somewhat very interesting entering the harbour, as the flow from the river was coming out and the swell pushing in, with waves rebounding off the harbour walls all over the place. Thankfully we all made it in safely.
Once back at the slipway it was time to pack up and sort the kit out. And for me the 3 hour drive home.
Thanks to Mike Robson for organising the trip and weather.
The best days seakayaking ever!