24 May 2012

Fly taxi

I'd only visited Norfolk once previously, it was a brief visit involving a pair of crutches, a handful of pus, an irate doctor and Her Majesty the Queen - but then that's a story for another time.
I awoke feeling much better than yesterday but breakfast reminded me that all was not at 100% - still at least there was no wind.
The creek was full so I didn't have to drag the boat far, the seals came to watch so I showed them my best 'seal' launch - I think it was wasted on them.
I took Patrick's advice to head through the channels of Brancaster Harbour. I was a little wary of running out of water but all was fine. It was a real treat to paddle through the intriguing channels and sheltered waters in the mist. Soon I was back out into open water along more pretty beaches, probably the nicest I've seen yet (only marred by mile upon mile of fencing in the upper reaches to protect the birdies - where there was no fencing there was a liberal scattering of 'Don't enjoy yourselves' signs).
Looking at the map I was intrigued by 'Wells-nowhere-near-the-sea' and so I took a look in at the top of the narrow channel before heading on.
After Wells the fog arrived and soon I was down to 200m vis, so I didn't get to see much more as I stayed out trying not to run into anything sandy.
The plan was to pick up a resupply box at the helpful post office at West Runton. Landing required a plan in the fog: go past the rocky shoals hidden in the fog, turn in and paddle until I could see something sandy and then reverse course back towards West R until I ran into it -'Clunk, found it!'
Heading up the steep hill the cafe lady came out to say hello, the jungle drums had been beating and she was looking out for me. It was warm and sunny at the top of the hill.
Wow, that's a big box! Rather than clutter up the footpath at the post office I decamped to the car park at the Methodist Hall - much to the disgust of the old lady waiting for the bus. She proceeded to glare at me, so I glared back and so on. But she had obviously been doing this for longer than me, like the Rozzers in Arisaig, I knew when I was beaten. So I consoled myself by scattering the contents of a few more drybags (Ortlieb of course!) around the place while she waited for the bus.
Back down the hill and into the gloom to find families sat on the beach in the fog, they couldn't even see the water! Very British.
Paddling against the tide now but I didn't care, still no wind!
Just as I thought Cromer would slip by in the fog the sun suddenly burnt through, a pretty looking place. The cliffs to the E were the most interesting of the trip, but perhaps that was just because I had spent all day inside a dirty milk bottle?
A mile short of Mundesley the fog returned with a vengeance, 100-150m vis - I had to move inside the break just to see the sand and even then I still couldn't see the shoreline. The shore was cliffs, groynes and sea defences and I was looking for a slipway with no grid ref - this could take a while! Then a quick phone call to Mission Control who provided a grid ref courtesy of Google Earth. I still got out on the wrong side of the groyne all the same.
Ahead was a slipway between two houses with a large 'PRIVATE' sign on it, I'm sick of signs I thought so I dragged it up there.
Gordon and Viv kindly directed me up the hill to the pleasant and friendly campsite.
A good day - the first day without wind in the first 40 (or so), perhaps I'll get another one before the end?
Not tomorrow by the look of things though.

Sent from my phone


Peter said...

Hallo John
Wir freuen uns dass es gestern so gut ging und wünschen dir für heute gutes Wetter und wenig Wind.
Peter und Maryse

Jim Krawiecki said...

Hey John, I'm really enjoying your trip. The anecdotes are especially entertaining but you only make me feel jealous when you mention pies!

Jim K

Mike and Deb said...

Sounds like a good day, bar the fog, and no wind - hallelujah!! Hope you get a few more of those days soon................ M and D

Frank said...

Pleased you enjoyed the North Norfolk area, Sally (Rockpool Alaw Bach owner) and me had one of our best kayaking days ever exploring the waterways and creeks of Brancaster.
Great blog as ever, stay safe


Anonymous said...

Norfolk's coast really is rather nice, isn't it? Agree however that it has far too much officaldom and restriction. I recall landing at a nature reserve, where they followed us around to check we didn't take a pee.

Mark R