Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Ravenglass Seaquest

A seaquest is a quest for adventure on the sea, an opportunity to combine the skills of paddling a kayak or canoe with that of orienteering. The original name is derived from a sea kayak designed and built by Peter Roscoe who started the Seaquest events on the Wyre Estuary at Fleetwood several years ago with the local 'Outdoor Adventure Group'.

Phil and Annette who frequent the Ravenglass area were quite taken with the concept that they decided to run a 'Seaquest' of their own, an I offered to go along and help out.

It was a blustery day with rain showers and some paddlers found it difficult it first, battling with the strong winds.

Conditions soon calmed down and seemed to be doing well picking up points by finding control markers up and down the three estuaries (Irt, Esk and Mite).

The winner was local lad Chris Cripps

Sean and Lojska came first in the 'mixed doubles' (3rd place overall)

I was surprised at how much there is to do in this less visited, remote coastal edge of Cumbria. The Ravenglass Campsite was splendid, there is a minature railway, a haunted castle and plenty of walking and climbing nearby.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monasteries, Monks, Beer and bad Weather

We have been spoiled by all the sunny weather of late, so when it breaks back to the norm for this time of year it seems awfully harsh. The journey across the Pennines and up the A1 to the Northumbrian Coast lacked the expected excitement and anticipation because Dave and I knew that we were in for a soggy grey weekend. By the time we neared our destination at Beadnell we resigned ourselves to putting tents up in the rain, consoled only by the anticipation of a couple of pints of ale in a warm pub in the village.

All night long it rained ............... an awful lot .... but in the morning the rain stopped and for an hour or so it seemed we might get some paddling done. But no! the wind soon whipped up to an easterly 5-6.

We trundled up and down the coast exploring harbours and villages until we settled in Beadnell once more to find a pleasantly sheltered beach with reasonably clean 3-4ft surf.

..............and eventually got round to having some fun in the (brief) sun.

The following morning was as grey as the morning before. The one saving grace was that the wind had dropped enough for us to paddle out from Bamborough to explore the Farne Islands. St Cuthbert is the patron saint of Northumberland lived on The Farnes throughout much of his life. Eider Ducks are common along the Northumbrian coast and are often referred to locally as St Cuthbert's, or Cuddy Ducks.

Cuddy Ducks ................ one female two male.

.....who is watching who?