Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fish Chips and Mushy Peasoup

In search of adventure, I met with Dave and Jules at the Yorkshire seaside town of Filey to paddle along the coast to Scarborough. I had never ventured along this stretch of coastline before and having now made a successful return journey, I feel very much none the wiser.

Shortly after leaving the beach in pleasant morning sunshine we ventured around the Filey Brigg, which is the headland and reef the forms the northern end of Filey bay. Within minutes we found ourselves in choppy conditions with dense fog locally known as 'sea fret' descending dramatically allowing us to see less than 50 metres at times. The sea conditions soon relented but it was difficult to see the shore. Pinpointing our position was tricky making map and compass essential and GPS quite reassuring.

Our 16km trip was plagued by the fret for all but the last 2 km of the approach to Scarborough where we were landed in brilliant sunshine amongst crowds of holidaymakers indulging in the great British seaside tradition of sandcastles, deckchairs and knotted hanky head wear. We opted for another great British seaside institution - Fish and Chips! It was hoped that adding mushy peas to the equation we might please the gods in the hope that they would leave our return journey clear.

It is now clear that we got that one quite wrong! Within minutes of leaving Scarborough we were paddling in fog thicker than before, making route finding amongst the reefs beneath Grissthorpe Cliff quite tricky.

Eventually we found Filey Brigg and the only challenge between us and a safe return. The north going tidal stream combined with some gentle swell to give us a roller coaster ride into Filey Bay where the mist promptly cleared allowing us to find our cars and, more importantly a tea shop.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chorlton Beer Feshtival

I live in a suburb of south Manchester called Chorlton-cum-Hardy. The name is sometimes subject to ridicule but I rather like, and am proud of it as I have lived most of my life here.

I also like beer, especially real ale so I pleased to report that the 4th annual Chorlton Beer Festival has ended in proud fashion with all barrels empty before church bells could ring 'closing time'.