Last Friday afternoon Kirstine and I made a dash for the coast amongst the beginnings of the traditional bank holiday chaos. Before we could cross the pennine border into Yorkshire the exhaust fell off the car and the rear suspension collapsed too. It was like a scene form 'Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em'. A very nice man from the AA came along and patched things up for us so that we limp to a nearby Kwikfit. Having initially left Manchester at 1-30pm we eventually arrived at Belford in Northumberland around 9-30pm.
On Saturday morning we headed off to circumnavigate Holy Island. We launched from the harbour on the island and following the guidance provided on John Rae's excellent kayaking website. With a Castle, sea birds, seals, rocky headlands and deserted sandy beaches this trip has it plenty to recommend it.
We even got a gloomy squall to get our hearts racing for the last part of the day as we paddled back towards the harbour.
On Sunday the wind was far stronger than we expected.
We went for a paddle in the shelter of the sandstone cliffs along the coast between Berwick upon Tweed and the Scottish border. This is a true classic amongst sea kayaking coastlines.
There are tidal lagoons, caves, arches and plenty of wildlife in amongst it all.
Later that day we drove along the coast to meet up with Ollie Jay who works as a canoe and kayak coach, and guide to the local area.
We packed up our boats with some supplies and went for a short paddle in the evening sunshine in search for a nice sheltered beach to sleep on. The night tried to draw in but never quite made it. Star gazing from amongst the dunes was good fun all the same and made all the better with a glass or two of red wine.
The bank holiday Monday morning sunshine gently warmed us from our sleeping bags. We took plenty of time over breakfast to the sound of Curlews, Oystercatchers, Skylarks and Terns. All too soon we were back in the 'real world' packing our toys away in readiness for the long haul home along the A1.