Monday, September 21, 2009

Earl-aye on the Solway

Since the excitement of last year's Solway adventures with Sean passed, I have been keen to make another crossing from Cumbria to Scotland.

Jon, Dave and I assembled at the slipway in Maryport harbour and got on the water as the tide was almost half way in. Following a week of delightful weather Saturday morning greeted us dull, grey and breezy. Leaving the shelter of the harbour we engaged the open rolling sea but our destination was barely visible 18km away through gloom.

With over half of the crossing done, and with onset of better weather the Scottish shore became more visible across the wide open expanse of water. This is when we began to realise that we had under estimated the strength of the Solway tide. 

We missed Southerness Point by at least 2km and settled for the nearby beach close to the Thirl Stane natural arch.


The waters of the Solway have a reputation for becoming alarmingly rough with little provocation from the prevailing weather and soon after we set out on our return wind against tide conditions soon became tricky.

Each of the crossings ended up being 20km taking a little over 3 hours but the breezy weather and choppy seas made it seem longer. Better weather came only a short while after we had battled our way over the Solway from Scotland.

1 comment:

Douglas Wilcox said...

Hi Jim, that's the Solway for you! Southerness is a bit tacky so you were probably better off at the Thirl Stane