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#1 14 Aug 2015 5:33 pm

Alistair S
Member
From: Lancaster, UK
Registered: 30 Oct 2014
Posts: 18
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Walney Island

After the revelation of our last trip from Roa Island, it came as no surprise that with a free afternoon/evening and the weather and tides all falling into place, we were once again heading west along the A590 to Barrow.  The plan was to set off from Earnse Point (the once most Westerly point in Lancashire) and circumnavigate Walney Island in an anticlockwise direction, stopping at the pub on Piel while we waited for the tide to change.  The time we had and the tides necessitated doing the last part of the paddle in the dark, something that we'd not done before.

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There was ample free parking at Earnse and a slipway offers handy access to the sea.

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Assisted by some youngsters out for a swim, we soon launched and headed South from the point.

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The tide carried us swiftly down the West coast of Walney.  Stunning beaches to the left, windmills to the right.

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The southern tip of Walney.

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Having rounded South East point Piel castle came into view.

We knew the pub was going to be open but didn't think it would be serving food so had taken our own.  It was a nice surprise to discover that not only were they still serving food, but that it's great and extremely reasonable too.  First time that I've had my tea cooked by a King and my pint poured by a Princess (the beers were even named after them).

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We were soon readying the boats for night paddling.

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Passing Barrow on a stunning evening.

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The sun setting behind Walney.

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Passing under the Jubilee bridge that connects the mainland to Walney.

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The last rays of sun behind North Walney.

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The slag heaps north of Barrow.

Rounding the North end of the island the Isle of Man came into view and our first bearing had us aimed at the North end of it.  Moving round the island we moved our sights first to the South end of the Isle before Dick chose a succession of red lights on different windmills to aim for.  These lights made paddling infinitely easier as night really set in by providing a useful visual reference, not only for direction, but also in terms of defining the horizontal.

As it became darker still, our bow waves and each paddle stroke glowed with an eery phosphorescence, caused by our disturbance of thousands of aquatic micro-organisms.  This in turn must have disturbed the fish and we would often be surprised by them jumping out of the water, hitting us on occasion, each accompanied by glow in the dark splashes.

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Paddling in the dark.

Fishermen's torches marked out the shore as we approached Earnse point again.  I'm not quite sure who was more surprised as we landed back on the slip, us or all the amateur astronomers patiently waiting in darkness for glimpses of the Perseids.

This is an absolutely terrific trip.  There is a lot of wildlife to see, from sea birds to seals and the landscape is constantly changing too.

Huge thanks to Dick for the tidal planning, navigation and once again the photos.

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Last edited by Alistair S (14 Aug 2015 5:33 pm)

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