Sun 06 May
Well its started!!
After all the planning I'm finally off, the First day was a nice paddle from Shotley Slipway across to Clacton on Sea a distance of 26km.
I was mean't to cross the start line at Midday but due to a last minute delay (the delivery man only just made it with my new Lendal blades in time, thanks Nick!) and the usual family goodbyes i set of at near 1pm to a nice, if rather small, turnout - still it was great to see so many people who had heard about the event and just come down. Weather was slightly overcast, little swell with NE Force 4 winds.
Going out past Harwich and the Felixstowe docks you get a great view of one of the UKs biggest container port - some real beasts of boats in there. Before heading out into the North Sea for the first time. Being a bank holiday mean't that i had loads of company for the trip down and i set off at a leisurely 7kph cruising on the last of the flood tide and looking at my neighbours. Felt great to be paddling and actually started.
After a bit of chop by Naze Tower headland i headed down past Walton on Naze to Frinton on Sea. By this time it was nearly 5pm (had stopped for a couple of pee breaks!), so i hauled out here and after meeting my folks headed back to the ranch for a nights sleep.
Bit of a change really, early start to catch the first of the flood tide and make a good mileage today - plan was to get to Burnham on Crouch (4okm) or Brightlingsea (20km) as a back up. However forecast showed Force 5-7 SW head winds and by the time i reached Clacton i'd worked out that i wasn't going to make my targets today! Quick mental arguement and i decided that it wasn't a day for open crossings around 2k wide mudflats. This means that i have the rest of the day on the beach - its taken me 2 days to make day 1's targets and no matter how sound the reasoning im not happy!!
Rest of the week shows strong winds and a low sitting over the UK - tomorrow looks right out but im hoping that later in the week Tuesday-Thursday i'll be able to nip round in short hops through force 4-5s.
No pictures as i forgot the camera in my rush to be off - however they'll be some on my website shortly.
Keep your fingers crossed that this low buggers off quickly!!