Saturday, 6 September 2014

Low Tide02:12 (1.00m)
High Tide08:30 (2.40m)
Low Tide14:48 (0.70m)
High Tide21:22 (2.40m)
Sea temperature: not taken
Sea conditions: calm
Weather: misty and grey
The tides were perfect this morning for me to take the board down to the beach just as the swimmers were coming out, so we had a quick chat but I wanted to get to the river mouth before the tide turned so had a quick hug with DK, who's back from his travels and jumped on. The water was very calm and the mist was thicker the further out I went, but it was easy going. The Ice Cream Lady was further up the beach with her family and we waved, I hadn't realised she'd taken this picture, which she'd put on Instagram before I'd even got home. I love it! At the river mouth I encountered a sailboat going out to sea, but they were drifting along so slowly that they hardly made a ripple, it was only where the strong eddies met their wake that it got a bit wobbly. I remembered Jochem saying "just kneel down if it get's wavy" so I did, and was able to power through the ripples. Going up river with the tide at this time of the morning is effortless and silent, you hardly have to paddle. But when I stopped to check the time and take a photo and was motionless on the board for a few moments in the calm at the top of the meniscus, created by the river walls, the board slowly turned around to face against the flow and I began very slowly inching upriver, backwards. I find it all fascinating and have booked a lesson in the surf next Friday evening, if there is any, so that I learn about that side of paddle boarding too. After all, it's not going to be calm all winter...

I'd asked Mertz to walk the dogs over and meet me at Novoboats with a top and some trainers so that I could walk home in comfort and not feel like a prat and the timing was perfect. Just as I reached the Bayley bridge they were coming across it, the poor dogs didn't know what to do, but I'm hoping to train them to walk parallel with me when I go upriver so this was a good test. As I turned against the tide it was slower going but they stayed  with me even when Mertz got ahead, so maybe it'll work eventually. There was a young guillemot struggling against the tide by the bridge and I'd have loved to have given it a lift to wherever it was going. I rescued one last year and they are such beautiful birds. 

The dogs were still with me by the time I got back to the slipway, and they greeted me there, then we all walked home together. Unfortunately Mertz had forgotten the shoes and top so I had to walk along the tow path and through the village in my wetsuit and my swimming shoes - a long soak in the bath and foot balm was much needed on my return. I love weekends.

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