Hello People?..Mellow Out

Day 68 – Cairnryan to Port Logan – 27th July – 25 nm

The rain has stopped and the wind has moved southwards. Things are still soggy though, and as we try to leave our pitch I get the van stuck. The warden is unimpressed, he drags us out using his landrover but as we apologise he launches into a tirade of expletives. There’s no answer to that. I guess we won’t be here for a third night then?

As we drive away we joke that the big, grey elephant wanted to indulge in a bit of a mud bath before leaving.

Time is a bit tight with the mud-wrestling delay but we just make the launch time. The SE wind means the top end is thankfully fairly flat and things tick along quite pleasantly. By the time Portpatrick calls though I am working into a stiff headwind, it’s only really for the last few miles but somehow I just run out of steam and crawl into the shelter of Portpatrick harbour. A chilly rain meets me there.

Team Manager arrives too, after a trip into Stranraer to try to get hold of some Irish Sea Maps. Things don’t look too good for an Isle of Man crossing in the near future, a set of fallback maps for going around the outside might be a prudent purchase we reckon. TM says that eyes followed her around Stranraer, the red and white Taran on the roof seemed to draw attention.

I get a bit of a mummy-told-you-so lecture for not eating enough yesterday (don’t hear that often) and am now force fed like a French goose. 2 hrs later it’s time to waddle out into the miserable grey soggy stuff again. Go on, how about a bit of blue for a change?

The wind is blowing pretty strong from the S-SE. It’s going to be a bit of a slog down the coast. Port Logan is the next realistic get out option, and after that it is down to the end. But I'm not sure of how things will be down there so it will be decision time at Port Logan. 

As I leave, TM heads up to buy a newspaper but the welcome is unpleasant and unfriendly. Come on people, she's the nice one in the team. I really don’t know what is going on, but somehow we don’t seem to make a great impression at times.

Anyway, I'm on the water and away. It is a bit of a slog to Port Logan. Across Caringarroch Bay I get a bit of help from an eddy, but the wind blows down the gully fiercely. A mist drops in and the rain comes down so heavily that I can’t see the other end of the short bay. I carry on sneaking down, it’s windy and splashy but the direction means there is no real swell or rebound to worry about. It’s just a hood-up slog.

Eventually I slide into Port Logan. We discuss the forecast for the coming days and realise that an Isle of Man crossing is unlikely to happen, for me at least. So the pressure is off to round the end tonight, not a bad thing I suspect.

We call it a day, it’s a peaceful spot but the wind and rain take the appeal away a little. We briefly consider a night by the beach but a string of locals head down to see what we are up to, so we decide to head off to find a campsite.

We do find one, another one run by the ‘friendly club’, who sting us for £30. It’s a rushed tea as the wind rattles the van and the rain refuses to ease. The eyes of countless rabbits reflect in the torchlight as darkness falls.

We look at the forecast and discuss our options; it looks like it may be the long way around the Irish Sea.