Paddles with an Anas acuta...... unashamedly biased toward the sea kayak of that name (actually the voyages of two boats, one 'traffic over gold', one 'quill')

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Ships that pass in the night

A black black night last night, luckily the wind at 4kt wasn't inducing much wind chill, or it would have been very cold. One of the joys of paddling a busy place like Portsmouth Harbour is the interest of passing shipping and being only a few yards away from large ships whilst keeping things safe for everyone, crossing deep water channels responsibly and letting QHM know your intentions.

Here is the Bretagne, 24,500 tonnes, 2000 plus passengers (but only 400 tonight), 130 man crew, creeping up behind 7 kayaks, 0.5 tonnes and 7 passengers and crew. It has engines generating 18,000 kW, how many kW can we manage between us? Its 26m beam almost exactly measures 50 Anas acutas side by side, but it is only 20 times longer; how sleekly the kayak slides through the water.

Watching each other, it passes as we head outbound to No.4 buoy

and continues into the night for France, whilst we cross astern, back towards the shore and a well deserved drink at The Wellington.

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