Saturday, 6 September 2014

A Temporary End (day 11)

Waking to rain after a night sleeping beneath a flight path. I muttered and grumbled and went back to sleep for a couple of hours having decided that today I would make Bristol and close this chapter until an appropriate time in the future,  I slowly packed and loaded my boat having said goodbye to the kind people of the flat Holm society I left on the last of the ebbing tide to make best of the 28ish miles I had to do. A bit of a wobbly route ensued as I couldnt see the main land for the first few miles and on rounding the island I was confronted by a huge fleet of yachts I changed my bearing to avoid their downwind course but this led me to doubt my route. I fumbled and floundered and got cross channel setting what I felt was the right course. I inadvertently paddled into a live firing range near Clevedon having failed to check if ranges were live or not (silly boy).   Then onwards towards Portishead and Avonmouth, fortunately after struggling to find the entrance to the Avon my friend JC  contacted me and told me to turn right, I'd already attempted this but in the wrong place where I'd been confronted by a massive industrial dock  I eventually found the hard to find Avon and moved up an incredibly charming and very beautiful estuary. I knew I was running out of tide so forced my way up the slowing waterway through the Avon gorge to Bristol harbour Lock. Again a bit of a paddle about followed by my exit at an old slipway at which point the tide turned (luck or skill? ) Portaging my boat was easy but disappointing because the lock keeper said I could have gone through in a sea kayak as they arent like the 'little' kayaks.
By now JC and his son Ben were with me they helped me lower the fully laden boat off an 8ft quayside where I paddled the final half mile or so past SS Great Britain, to finally many days too late make it to Bristol and the conclusion of this leg of my trip.

I expect I'll write a separate entry covering the kit I've used and things I've learnt experienced and felt.
I'm glad I reached Bristol and I'm glad I made it in the fashion that I did. The last 2 days were tough, but ultimately really quite cool..... 850 miles seems daft now but it wouldnt have under different circumstances life nor weather  nor oceans travel in straight lines   on occasion you gotta go with the flow.


  1. Saltwater philosophy? There's something iconic about this last photo- the plastic blue gift, and your arm, if you see where I'm going... After the planning, the mountainous struggles, the MSC, what I think I see on the final day is a personal promise fulfilled. Good on ya bud!

    1. You're absolutely right brother. I wore his Saint Christopher too. 3years tomorrow since he passed!


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