Up slightly later than yesterday and on the water about 9.45am. There was no particular rush as the door south at Duncansby Head wasn't due to open until late afternoon.
We had a minor hicough when one of the tent poles broke as we were taking it down. Not sure why it went. The winds hadn't been particularly strong overnight so that was unlikely to be the cause but we have noticed that the alu poles don't seem to like the salt water environment much and have corroded a little. The wee repair tube provided by Vango did the trick, but we're trying to source a replacement pole from them rather than rely on the repair for the rest of the trip.
With a N F3-4 blowing across us we made our way slowly round to Sannox Bay just to the W of Duncansby Head. With our boats in position ready to go when the time came we wandered back to John O Groats in search of a shop. We found a few, but wedding dresses, candles and sea side rock weren't really what we were looking for. Tony was particularly impressed with the place and plans to take his holidays there every year.
Back at Sannox Bay we still had time to kill so we walked up to the headland for a peak preview of what was to come.
On the way back as we cut across the grass back to where we had left the boats a pair of curlews started up in alarm. Clearly there must be a chick nearby so we started to watch our step. Not a moment too soon as it was there immediately in front of us doing a grand imitation of a stone and very cute with it. We moved away quickly before the adults became any more stressed.
Back at the beach we put on just after 3pm and started nosing round the point against the last of the W going tide. Despite the N F3-4 the sea state was slight promising a good trip around the headland.
The rock architecture was magnificent and our early arrival at the point gave us time to explore some of the geos and have a good look around.
Aside from the geology the place is also sea bird central, with a competition clearly underway to see how many Guillimots you can fit on a single ledge.
Then we moved on down past the Knee and the Stacks of Duncansby. More spectacular rock scenery, more sea birds at 9" centres and a great place for a paddle.
Then it was 4pm and time to go. The south bound Pendalino had arrived and was already rolling. We jumped off briefly to explore Wife Geo, another amazing rock feature, before settling down for the non-stop fast service to Sinclair Bay.
We ended up stopping a little short of the bay and hauled out just south of the ruins of the old Castle Keiss.
A short but great days paddling. In many ways we were sad to leave the N coast. Never having been there before we came away with the impression of a beautiful area with some pretty special boating venues.
Distance travelled today: 27km
Total distance so far: 420km
Midgee ferrocity: nil. Too windy am and too cold pm.