Monday, 5 September 2011

Sea Shepherd

Wednesday nights are for coaching, but I try to get on the water earlier than the group meets to get some rolling in, so, I was floating around at Scapa when I noticed Phyllis racing down to the pier and a well known local kayaker jumped out and rushed down the slip, shouting, 'Steve Irwin is here!!!! Lets get to Hatston!'

carry on coaching...
 Off we went to the 'Dark Side' and launched from the slippery slip, the coaching session being designed to get us up close to the MY Steve Irwin - the flagship of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Just back from the Faroes and on her way to London the ship was anchored in Kirkwall Bay.

2 blue boats
 I had a chat with a couple of crew about their experiences in the Faroes: Operation Ferocious Isles.

chatting not coaching...

 I did not know while we were visiting the ship that the sea Shepherd conservation Society owned its very own island here, not far from where they were anchored, at Green Holm. The association between the organisation gives the island another layer of interest having created its own mini seal sanctuary back in 1985.  The only time I have been there involved a few alarming moments paddling hard and getting no where while ferry gliding on what seemed like an enormous river... so it was reassuring to read their observation of 'white water rapids'! Read about their Orkney visit here.

 After all the excitement we carried on kayaking and finished our coaching session under the pier at Hatston before touring the basin in the dark. Head torches on, it felt cold. I had now been on the water for more or less 5 hours and not paddling very hard for most of it, it felt like winter.

Kirkwall basin
We might manage a couple more evening sessions of the weather holds - I'll be wearing my gloves!

All photos by Mary Saunders aka Northern Kayaker.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A little bit of Burray

A beautiful day and a paddle round the east coast of Burray from the 4th to the 3rd barrier.
blue sky

Burrayness lunch spot with Roseness and Copinsay on the horizon.
Hundreds of geese made a noisy fly past.
Seals at Bu Sands

I had the closest encounter yet with a seal.
Junior was very brave and came within a couple of metres of the boat before splashing and swimming underneath. 
Paintballers' playground.