1st August 2018 – North Berwick

A typical LSKC outing which started with a beach briefing at Milsey Bay that established the number of cavities of each of the eleven group members. The winner was new paddler Tracy with none.

With a forecast for sun, clear skies and a gentle breeze from the east… we set off in to cold, thick, fog and a moderate easterly breeze. It was a journey of discover during which we learned,

  • Sensory deprivation can cause motion sickness
  • Maps are only any use if you can actually see the things that are on the map
  • If you keep the dark shadows on your right leaving North Berwick you end up at Seacliff beach
  • Excellent dental health doesn’t prevent motion sickness
  • Someone had stolen Bass rock

The sea was well beyond the mill pond we had expected and was nudging sea state 3. Everyone coped really well and particularly our two new members Tracy and Abigail on their first club trip. The plan was to land at Seacliff for lunch and that involved tackling the surf that was building up. Martin went to check it out and without fore-warning, took up marine biology.

In the end we persuaded him to take up sea kayaking again and paddled to the far end of the bay to set up the landing. With two experienced paddlers safely ashore to provide assistance, we went in one at a time in between the rollers and avoided any baths.

The forecast and weather finally synchronised while we ate and the fog lifted to reveal a beach full of sun-seekers. While we were distracted by the sudden appearance of all these people, someone put Bass rock back where it was supposed to be. A one year old toddler, encouraged by the sight of all these empty, unguarded kayaks, tried to commit piracy and was seen off.

Back on the water and safely through the surf again we set off for the newly rediscovered Bass rock. The sea picked up again and forced a change of plans. We had hoped to paddle around the rock but, following conversations with Paul, Jane and Martin it was decided not to risk it. Having got close to the rock, we turned and headed back to shore.  Martin carried out an excellent rescue of a swimmer and Paul deserves a commendation for rafting up with him to provide assistance. Five minutes later they repeated the drill. Glad to be heading home and with our swimmer warming up the rest of the trip passed without event.

My thanks to Jane, Martin and Paul for their invaluable support in what were tricky conditions. All eleven paddlers made it back safely but I cannot swear they were the same eleven we went out with.

Richard Leeson