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We had a lovely weather day off in Ballycotton. The following day the forecast was suggesting an early window before the wind goes to F5 or F6 or F7 depending which forecast we checked. We made the plan of getting up at three in the morning, start to paddle with the first light, then finish early in the day as the wind picks up. We decided to go step by step bay by bay depending on the conditions.

It wasn’t that bad getting up so early, and soon we were paddling, later enjoying the sunrise.

We rounded first headland at Knockadoon Point, and landed for breakfast. I have to report that the best portaloos in Ireland are to be found here. Open, clean, and having not just one roll of paper in the dispenser, but one free standing one, as well as two yet unopened packs of four rolls each. It’s small things that make us happy nowadays as well being important to us.

From then we went towards Ardmore. The sea was calmer than we thought and the wind mild. I never tire of looking at the coastlines, cliffs, beaches, but thought for those, who do, I will not include any landscape pictures for once. Ardmore was great, we managed to get tea and coffee and ice cream.

Then off we went past Mine Head with a stop on the beach past Helwick Head. Here, late in the afternoon the few hours of sleep we had, the early start and the distance started to show up. Luckily, Lindsey could get a bit of quick canine therapy and was good as new to continue.

I don’t like the idea of finishing paddling landing on potentially surfy beaches in areas that are exposed in weather that is unsettled, so we agreed to aim as far as we can, preferably to a harbour just west of Annestown. And definitely I wasn’t going to finish on Bunmahon surf beach. But obviously, sometimes these things just happen, and when the wind finally picked up some 12 hours since we started paddling, and raised the sea to quite a wavy one, we had to get off.

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