On Your Marks! - Crossing the Wash

Day 31 – Holme next the Sea to Mablethorpe - 20th June – 25.6 nm

We had worked things nicely to be in a good position to cross the Wash, I really didn't want to get stuck here waiting for another day or two. But I was a little concerned about the weather; the forecasts gave a confliciting variety of wind strengths and directions for the coming days, while Magicseaweed forecast an increasing swell from the north. I was getting tired, and that meant a good faff was never far away. Neither of us could face another dose of early morning indecision, while I tried to work out the correct answer to the go-nogo crossing question. Sleep was fitful in the van for the night.

But the morning arrives with a steady SW breeze, with the swell on the ebb this could be splashy, but when we get to the water there is no swell at all. It is flat calm, I'll have a gentle side wind, but even this is forecast to go southerly later – I love it when a plan comes together!

Except it doesn't of course. Somehow I have made a balls-up with the planning; when I check the figures it is very obvious that we are two hours late. What the heck happened there? Bum, I don't want to lose the day.
But all is not lost; it is not an ideal start to the day, but then the distance will be limited by the Donna Nook Range anyway. A quick re-plan shows that it is all still possible. Just need to paddle a little harder fatboy.

I'm off the beach with a 'race-you' bet ringing in my ears. Who can be the fastest to the other side? Pride, and the washing-up, depend on this one.

For me, the the planning fart-up means I'm straight out into a 2 kt tide from the side, meaning a rather chunky ferry glide. But even so I'm making 5 kt progress, not sure how, but I'm happy not to try to work that one out.

As I paddle further out the breeze does indeed back a little, and the ebbing flow tends to take a more northerly direction. Other than the grey skies, and the lack of world-peace, there isn't much wrong with the day.

I've no real desire to see Skeggy or Ingoldmells again and so dial in a heading to Chapel Saint Leonards. As I close on Ingoldmells the radio springs to life; so just where is the Team Manager then? Skeggy – Ha! It's not the old fatboy who'll be wearing the Marigolds tonight then!

As I close on the dubious delights of Mablethorpe, the tide changes and the breeze strengthens. But the last minute re-plan works nicely, as I push against the tide for only the last 40 mins or so. All said and done I can't complain too much about that. I am rather happy to tick another one off.

We struggle to find a campsite; once again the 'friendly club' isn't, we are turned away numerous times. But eventually we stumble across a small site, where our nervous inquiry receives a friendly welcome. The site has been the owner's long-term project since he dug his first pond and planted his first tree in the '80s. It is a fantastic place.

It is late, we eat our boil-in-the-bags in the dark and reflect just how differently each day works out.

I sleep better tonight.