Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Double Trouble up North

Its all Glen's Fault!

He asked me if I would help him test drive a sea kayak that he had his eye on. Glen is planning to do some sea kayak racing in the forth coming season and believes he has located a suitable craft. This 'Orcadian 2' kayak needs two people! I sometimes paddle an Aleut 2 double kayak which is big, stable, maneuverable and forgiving.

I'm not sure if it was the adverse weather conditions, the unusual nature of the craft, Glen's inexperience at the helm or a combination, but our short sea trial at Newbiggin ended with a broken rudder cable and a sense of "Phew!" when we landed through the short dumping surf. Afterwards we were treated to a tour of the local lifeboat station where we gained a sense of, "Don't worry, we had you covered!"

We left the boat for the potential vendor to nurse back to health and headed even further north to the new bunkhouse at Chatton Park Farm. The bunkhouse comes well recommended, especially as there is a fine pub only 10 minutes walk away.

We failed to generate a substantial hangover so following a rigorous pre-breakfast constitutional, hearty breakfast and short drive to Boulmer we engaged the sea once more.

The morning's conditions favoured a journey north until lunchtime when the turn of tide would lead us to head south and finish where we started. Our first stop was Craster, famous for Kippers, but also has a pub and a quaint harbour.

Dunstanborough Castle stands mighty and strikes fear into the hearts of potential invaders. We moved on.....

Low Newton has a pub so friendly and well stocked with fine ales and food that we couldn't bear to stand in the lengthy queue. We settled for a couple of mouldy flapjacks from my drybag and some tepid coffee from Glen's thermos.

We made haste on the return to Boulmer for fear we might be ravaged by the approaching boisterous weather and the farmer had warned us that his cows like to nuzzle wing mirrors on the cars parked in his conveniently positioned field.


Owen said...

Hi Jim,

What boat is that double?

The front end looks like a P&H Baidarka but I've never heard of them doing a double.

Jim Krawiecki said...

Hi Owen,

I have added a link to the website of the designer & builder of the 'Orcadian 2' double kayak to my blog. You are quite right about the front end, it is derived from a Baidarka.