Grade A paddle from N Berwick – Sunday 6 May 2018

Grade A paddle from N Berwick – Sunday 6 May 2018

Fourteen of us set out from a fairly quiet Milsey Bay in conditions unexpectedly superior to those forecast and entirely different from any of the forecasts that had been consulted: bright sunshine, no wind and virtually flat calm.  Quickly adapting to these unusually testing conditions (hats, suncream and shades applied) we skimmed out the Bass on the ebb.  After an erudite linguistic discussion as to  the denotation of “widdershins” the group split in two and paddled in opposite directions round the Rock, where the gannets were nesting furiously.  After reconvening at the lighthouse and posing for a man in a boat with an enormous camera lens, we pulled across to a busy Seacliff for lunch: barbecues, beach tents, ponies, other sorts of paddlers (very small, excitable, sans boats.)

Suitably refreshed and fully bantered, we attempted the club record for getting Large Boats in a Small Space by entering the wee harbour en masse.  Trapped, David Towsey bargained for his release by bribing others with jelly babies from his small but strangely named food box which was passed from paddle to paddle within the confined space.  A small fit of hysterics was had. Much reversing ensued.

The group rock-hopped along the coast under Tantallon Castle and the curious eyes of visitors and fishermen, for whom we rescued a rogue line float.  The rising tide pushed us back to a busier Milsey Bay, where eight of the group disembarked after some rescue practice.  The rest paddled round to the harbour in search of cake from the RNLI stall but alas, there was none remaining.  Four stalwarts then circumnavigated Craigleith, which had plenty of puffins, two seal pups and the only bouncy water of the whole trip at its eastern side.

An idyllic day out in superb conditions.  Thanks to Fiona for organising and to everyone for turning up and enjoying themselves.

Ian Patterson