Saturday, 10 May 2008

St Bees to the Isle of Man

Months of training (a quick paddle along the Bridgewater canal) and exhaustive preparation (an email to the ferry company) resulted in a successful crossing from St Bees to the Isle of Man in Jim's double kayak:Kirstine kindly drove Jim and me to the campsite at St. Bees on Friday evening. We packed some of our gear into the boat before getting a few hours of sleep. The tents and the rest of the gear were packed at 2:30am on Saturday morning, in preparation to catch the high tide.

We paddled away three minutes behind schedule, leaving the slipway at St. Bees at 3:33am:
[Photo: JimK]
It started to get light about an hour after we set off and the sun was well up by half past five:
The Liverpool Coastguard were very helpful and supportive via the VHF. There wasn't much going on - we only saw a few other craft on the water. We did get an offer of a bacon barm from the helmsman of the Night Cat though:
[Photo: JimK]
Visibility was quite poor - we could only see about a mile through the mist. We were almost at Maughold Head before the white buildings of the lighthouse became vaguely perceptible.
We landed on the Isle of Man about 6hrs 15mins after leaving St. Bees. By 10:00 we had phoned home to let our other halves know that we were safe:

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