So the welcome chance to catch up on a few things, but it's so surprising how quickly such a day goes by!
Today's mention goes to the kind lady in the Soap Box launderette in Arbroath who did not turn her nose up at my bag of smelly kit and then made it smell better than it ever had! Thankyou.
The rest of the day disappeared in a haze of minor admin, looking at maps, shopping for food and a little sight seeing of the (very) local area.
The conditions offshore were quite lumpy all day; through the binos the offshore cardinal buoy was rolling and heeling like a drunken elephant on a unicycle. The tidal window was wide today and a number of times I watched conditions change, there was temptation to go at times but the forecast for the destination just made me an uneasy - as Yoda would say if it's not right then you can't go, end of story.
And as the Boss would say - 'Don't get cocky' full stop.
The weather is what it is, not necessarily what you want...
So, time for a quick review of the first few weeks:
Best paddle: Craignure to Arisaig - good mileage, good view of Ardnamurchan light in the sunshine, rounded a big headland, stonking 3hrs pushing the boat at 5 kts to finish.
Worst paddle: Gairloch to Slaggan - made mistakes and had a bit of a scare through relentless conditions; rates amongst the top 3 nastiest moments ever.
Nicest person: Just about everyone has been so helpful and friendly but Ryan (and his Grandparents) on the Isle of Man were such good company as was the fisherman at Staxigoe. Memorable moments.
Worst person: still to come I fear, perhaps a council official near Torquay?
Best campspot: difficult one, but probably go for the Sandaig Islands, Sound of Sleat (except for the ticks).
Worst campspot: Arisaig; forgot the campsite had closed down. Arrived in dark with wind and rain after a long day - dreary.
Best campsite: all have been very helpful so far with no 'jobsworth' at all - Point Sands where Jim handed me a beer before I got off the beach, the view from Thurso, the kind people at Scourie who fed me after time and so on...
Best kit: so hard to say, obviously the Taran and the Legend wing paddles are crucial and delivering the goods. But at the moment I have a growing fondness for my Kokatat gore-tex Nor'wester - whatever you think I look like.
Worst kit: nothing yet, but then I am very fussy when choosing kit. We'll see.
Thanks to everyone who has offered help, accommodation or company - it is all greatly appreciated. Apologies if I don't reply but I can't plan more than a day or two in advance - my advice: don't answer the phone/email in the middle of the night, you may well get your bluff called!
Sent from my phone