#findyourepic #getoutside #intothewater #exploredreamdiscover
I’d checked the forecast that morning and it was blowing Beaufort F4/5 NE with a fair swell running of 3-4 ft. Es Grau looks out to the NE and on arrival there was a 2 ft swell rolling into the protected bay! After talking with Maria one of the owners they were able to drop us on the South coast, which would mean an offshore wind, but some protection if close in and smaller to no swell. It meant we could start, so that was a winner!
|working hard to keep the noose in and on track|
We set out from Biniacolla right down on the SE tip and had decided to maximise the South coast and go clockwise around Menorca. I had to work hard with the off shore wind, which kept blowing the nose of my board out to sea. It was a balance between cutting across a bay with more exposure and less distance or keeping closer in out of the wind. About 7km in to the journey the cliff’s got taller, offering more protection and the sun beamed on to the rocky walls. We explored a few caves and started to consider with just over two hours of day light, what was realistic to aim for, for our first night’s bivi.
|A gentle headwind|
|The most Northerly point, with Sonja on the left|
|Magical sunrise start|
|Leaving and the protected harbour of Alcaufar and the last 6km!|
|Job done now time for some food!|
|The start at Corpack with Ben Nevis in snow!!|
|looking up the Sound of Mull|
|Tobermory, Isle of Mull, with Don, Craig, Alan, Gerry and Roger|
|Sunrise, just North of Tobermorry (Mull) and our first early start|
|Arrival at the stunning Sandwood Bay NW Scotland|
|Sandwood Bay was totally magic!|
|Duncansby Head and we're on the East coast!|
|Bringing the journey to an end at Inverness ...|
|Thanks to Tavi for this original creation!|
|On the North coast of the RoB and a totally magic day with a BIG ground swell and a super sunny blue sky day.|
|Ive since learnt its better to ware gloves due to the toxins!|
Back in 2008 Olly first invited me to Greenland but at the time it was my first real season with Coastal Spirit, so I said no!
When discussing the possibility of a trip in the summer of 2017, I was really keen to be part of it. That possibility has now become a reality with funding from the Artic Club and supported by Gino Watkins Memorial Fund; A & J Simpson Award. Many thanks for this!
The plan is to be self contained and journey in sea kayaks going North of Upernivik (on the North West coast) to explore the numerous potentials for climbing on the many islands in this area. The main objectives will be climbing alpine style roures we come across, accessed in a low impact approach from sea kayaks.
We will have 28 days in total. This will allow us to travel to the area, and probably 24 days in Greenland. We will need to pack our sea kayak with all of our food, camping kit, paddling and rock climbing gear for the whole time.
Im really looking forward to my
first time in Greenland and my second time above the Artic
circle. I'll aim to keep you all updated with progress.
I would also like to thank Tent Meals for their support towards our expedition, with great tasting, natural high energy breakfasts and evening meals.
|Photo taken by Olly Sanders|
|Photo taken by Olly Sanders|
|Photo taken by Olly Sanders|
|Salcombe, South Devon - Jack and Sean|
|Wondering 'should I stay or should I go ...|
|Taking a short land break and no rain!|
|Ambleside and time to pack it all away for the steam ferry ride back|
|The drive North and a brief pause to soak up a super sunset|
|The start with the drifting mist ...|
|Lunch on land and the sunshine is out!|
|Down to my short sleeved t shirt ...|
|What a magical end to a SUPer day :)|
|The end, for now ....|
Following our successful paddle around Mallorca, we took a day off and managed to stay and catch up with my good friend Pete and his family. This also allowed us to wash and sort out kit, charge phones/cameras and pause for a moment.
Now I had heard of this but I hadn't really realised how significant this wind was ...
The strong Tramontana wind is a fairly regular feature of the region in all seasons except summer. This variant of the French Mistral wind blows NE-SW across the landscape for 3-12 days at a time, and can be bitter when the
This we experienced the day after paddling on to the North coast of Mallorca, with big swell and increasing winds. Yeah, it was cold too...
The forecast looked good for Tuesday and a ferry on that evening could also work. We had the one trolly, so we would try and walk the kayaks on, one at a time. Getting them on from Alcudia was fine and free, getting them off was more difficult! When we arrived we had to move the sea kayaks as one unit and with full kit and 12lts of water that was going to be challenging. We got the impression the Boss guy wanted to go home!!
|Theres a special feeling walking a sea kayak on to a ferry, which feels like a real adventure ...|
|Wishing we had brought two trollies ... after realising it was a 2km portage to the beach form the ferry port!!|
|Into the beautiful setting light of the day|
|We played with the swell and the light on the wall, savouring the moment ...|
|Rounding the Southern tip, with the top light of the lighthouse and looking for a place to camp!!|
|Bay after bay just looked amazing and with so much wild camping potential|
|And yet more magical colour and clarity ...|
|The cliffs were smaller than Mallorca, but still stunning|
|Clear evidence of cave dwellings ...|
|A beach bar at Cala Binidall with Wifi for forecasts and a cool beer ... perfect!|
|Super little camp ...|
|Crossing the entrance of Mahon|
|Time for lunch ...|
|The final push back to our start point, and into a head wind, but with some fun swell|
With the evening paddle on the first day and 3 further days we were around Menorca and to be honest i felt like going around again and this time much slower. After Mallorca, finding places to easily camp/bivi was such a relief and the island was so green and softer. We had been told that camp/bivi was almost part of the Menorcan culture and the problems were more with the incomers who now own property!!
We made it about 120km around, but again we were able to cross from headland to headland on the North coast, if you had to keep closer in the mileage would go up.
We landed back at Ciutadella and discussed options. I was super keen for the crossing, so headed off for more lunch type food and some more water, while Barry went off to the ferry port to clarify times. We both met back at a cafe with Wifi and decided to find a sheltered bay, to camp again for the night and if the forecast held for the morning we would go for the crossing.
Open Crossing to Mallorca
The wind was a f3 East, there about, but 3-4km limited viability. Not ideal, but at least the wind was in a helpful direction. The main channel was about 40km across so we felt 7 hours and that would be done, then it was about getting back to Alcudia and were my van was. We set off on a bearing and after 1:30 hours we lost sight of land and worked on finding some rhythm ... as we left the shelter of the island swell got more confused and running at two different angles making my sea kayak more difficult to manage ...
|It felt good to see the ferry from Mallorca ...|
|The confused swell that was running ...|
|And now the ferry from Menorca ...|
|Now we hadn't been able to get a map that had both islands on. This was the best we could do ... ;)|
Around the 5 hour mark we saw Mallorca, but to be honest it was confusing and disorientating. What part of the island was it? I'd left my Mallorca map in the van. Well it was sunny before and I could see the whole island from Menorca!
Around 7hours, 30 minutes we had reached the Southern headland of Alcudia Bay and now the job was to paddle and find the van. 10 hours 40 and over 60 km paddled, the job was done. Wet tired and hungry we changed and loaded the kayaks.
|Pleased to be in dry clothes and on the way to find some food. Happy days ;)|
|Driving on down and some super cloud formations|
|We started on the SW side of the most Southerly point and this was our first lighthouse of many!!|
|Thankfully we explored and stopped at this small Cala, which made for a perfect |
nights camp and with enough time to dry kit!
|As we moved up the East coast (were going anti clockwise), we had some super assistance form the wind.|
|Honestly it is that kind of blue ...|
|This magic blow hole was so much fun ...|
|Day 2 had been a long day. Not through choice, just that we couldn't find a wild enough camp. |
Time to be up early then!!
|The variety and colour along the coast was fantastic|
|just had to be done!|
|having a floating break before crossing the bay of Alcudia|
|Whoop, whoop... Cap de Formentor, the most Northerly point|
|As the North coast unfolds, it was time to look for a camp!|
|Do your stuff Mr Baz Dundee....|
|Cala Figuera and my trusted kit!|
|Next morning was chilly and atmospheric!!|
|Heading for Cala Sant Vincent for more water|
|Just leaving Cala Sant Vincent, in an increasing swell and wind ... we turned back, due to the next section of coastline was to be the most committing, with no landing until Sa Calobra, which even then we were unsure about.|
|The next day, rest and ready|
|The morning sun really brought the coast alive ...|
|We had a gentler increasing wind on our backs and smiled our way along the coastline ...|
|Entrance to Torrent de Pareis|
|Just trying to capture the height!!|
|The cost was that good ;)|
|Getting a fly by with a large flock of Shearwater's -it was such a great sweep through|
|One of many we passed along the way|
|Now on the SW side and on the way to the Bay of Palma!|
|We found it ... just a little to close to Magaluf!|
|Beautiful start to the next day, although 45 minutes into the crossing and the wind suddenly increased to Bf4 -5 the f5 gusting f6, offer and out of the bay!! Thank fully 1 hour latter the aggressive front had passed ...|
|We can get this at home ...|
|Final on the water lunch ...|
|Having a good run along the coast in my Cetus ...|
|Claa Sant Vincent and a 4km loop before returning ...|
|Landing in Cala Sant Vincent|
|Action Centred Leadership - John Adair|
|Tavi getting a good hit and looking solid ...|
|Zoe working with Debs in Buddy Leadership|
|The main race, with Zoe up flow, Julie centre and just the head of Debs (on the right)|
|Leaving The Skerries on a flood tide|
"There are a number of wonderful things about Roger. He has a very light touch in his coaching, and he's always smiling and encouraging you to relax into the enjoyment of the day"
"And I'm probably learning more from his mentoring now, as my paddling horizons expand, than ever before. I can't count how many questions I've asked... and he's answered. Roger has the knack of making that suggestion that radically changes your thinking and moves your paddling on in leaps and bounds."
"I've just completed a two day 4* Sea kayak training course with Roger. Having been coached by Roger in the past, I choose to do this course with Roger because I knew I would get a great deal from the course. My expectations were certainly well and truly met"