The Solent - perfect timing, arriving on a Bank Holiday Saturday - wind, chop and gloom. Fast ferries and Hovercrafts, sponsored buoys, yachts and gin palaces. Precautionary Area big sprint to avoid the big boat resulting in a sweat-on and a sheepish wave.
Portland Bill - had to make a big ferrry glide just to get inside an even bigger tiderace. The crowds on the end reminded me of chimps in the cage at the zoo. I could see The Boss waving, and then intosome big spikey water going on forever. Finally arrived at West Haven, nice cliffs, a gypsy tea and the boys on their bikes.
Budleigh Salterton - rain, wind, mist and dark. Big waves, sneaky surf landing, yet another early stack, no time to visit Fat Wendy from Pomeroy.
Torbay - the paramilitary car park attendants, a tiny lighthouse and stuck in the motel for days - crap food and crap service in the pay & display kingdom - pants.
Boswinger - a visit to Mevagissey where I had to put the food in the bin, twice.
The Lizard - relieved to pass the Point. A brief visit from a dolphin at Mullion Cove and then a fantastic peaceful eveing in the sunshine and caravan - a lovely garden, feeding Blackbirds followed by the best night sleep of the trip - blissful.
Land's End - windy Porthcurno, then sun and swell around the corner, late arrival at St Ives with nowhere to stay.
Polzeath - Valley campsite; a very friendly welcome with beer on the house and a visit from Jessica followed by food, glorious food.
Bude - scratching the cliffs to avoid the winds, kitting up for a surf landing to find it calm around the corner, stuck for 2 more days, more crap chips, biiiiiig waves.
Lundy - a WTF climb, beer in the tavern, cheeky sparrows, friendly folk, snoozing seal.
Welsh Wales - a lost porpoise, big boats, a no-chance tide, crossing the range, Freshwater rest, Jack Sound, big hill and finally to bed.
Ramsey - sunshine and the Sound, dodging David's eddy, Porthgain lunch - once is enough, the Poppit caravan and chatting with Huw & Liz, familiar territory, huge food parcel from Joy, but no Uncle Geoffrey - real friends, noisy teenage talk at midnight.
Cardigan Bay - a long slog in calm conditions while dodging the range boats to finish the day on a scruffy campsite with an offer of help from the lady in the wheelchair - must look knackered.
The Lleyn - a 20 mile warm-up on a downwind crossing and then a stop on the beach with The Boss. Dodging the toilet watchers to make a windy trek up Bardsey Sound. Then rain and calm heading north, the Boss getting wet on the cliffs, more miles until 'call it a day - it's dark' - 53.5 nm. Landed in Trefor - lock the boat for sure.
Trefor - Lobster Bob regailed me with tales of vanishing kayaks. Nasty Bad conditions across Caernarfon Bar, survive to the sanctuary of the Straits. Paddled within 5 minutes of the house, later took a Red Wharf battering - yeah whatever, seen it before. Resignation and pressure at Moelfre; Point Lynas you win. A welcome sight of the Stick clan on the beach followed by a visit from the Boss and Little Brother - what are you doing here? You know me too well. The final night, spent sleeping in a car park 8 miles from the finish.
North Coast - more pressure, more scratching, windy slog, nasty bays, shouts from the cliffs, waves from the girls, the final power station, people on the beach, into wind, Cemlyn lasts forever, thankyou to Mary C, kiss from The Boss, fizzy pop finish, smiling faces, big cake, chatting to Philip, Justine's soup, big camera, pretty warden interview, Barry laughing, the drive home, feels like the end of just another trip, finished, not ready for this. Anticlimax - don't want it to end...