Jaw clenching, salt tasting, muscle straining, bone bending, tendon ripping, finger stretching.......wind.
We set off this morning from French Port and for 6.5 hours we strained and pulled our kayaks through 30 knots of headwind, just to try and get into position to cross over to Donegal, and we fell short by 12 miles. Today has been without a doubt our hardest day so far. You would think a hard day would be a fifty miler, wrong. That can be an easy day with the wind and tide on your side, the hard days are the low mileage days - the one's where every mile is a strain.
We left with a tail wind for half a mile and then turned to face up into the wind and from then on it was nip and tuck for six and a half hours without let up - nip out to round a head land, then try and tuck back in to get out of the wind. However, even when close in, tight under the cliffs of Erris and Benwee Head we had down drafts which threatened to tear our paddles out of our hands and capsize us. Today was tough.
We really appreciate the support - all the comments on the blog and through facebook; and the generous donations to Ovarian Cancer Action. Means a lot - thanks.
Jeff and Harry