Destination Cove Harbour

A gorgeous night for a paddle and what seemed for me like the first for a while. We set off through shallows with the occasional bump and scrape over barnacle crusted rocks and turned east with the sun blasting down on us from behind. Soon we were gliding along over beds of kelp, creamy barnacle coated rocks and patches of white sand. It seemed effortless at first and the bow cutting lines through the water which spread out either side suggested speed, soon though sweat stung my eyes as I worked to keep pace with my companion.

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A long summer day meant we were in no particular rush but we had a time for turning around in mind to be back for about 10pm. Our passing of the second of the two local industrial monsters; the cement works and nuclear power station coincided with what would have been a sensible turning back, but cliff scenery and the relative proximity of the gem that is Cover Harbour, drew us on further.

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By now I was starting to feel a slight stickiness in the water and though tide was against us, it was more down to my lack of fitness. We carried on with the sun’s light warming the pink and orange rock of the cliffs we passed on our right and eventually entered the harbour and the shaded and cooler environment behind the cliffs it is set in to. Here we enjoyed the chance to refuel whilst watching crabs scurry about beneath us across the sand. A few other souls were out for a wander enjoying this little haven on the Lothian coast.

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Turning in to the setting sun as we left it was obvious that we were never going to make it back for 10pm, but the journey back proved even ‘stickier’ for me, even with the tide assissting us. My shoulders and back were aching, progress seemed slow and the return leg seemed much longer than the one out. No matter, paddling at dusk is lovely and encroaching fog behind, in front of and beside us never seemed to be a problem and never reached us, it just added another element of interest, so too did the moon, relatively full and reflecting strongly on the water to our left.

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We arrvied back in deeper water but still managed the odd bump and scrape as we approached our starting point in the dark.

A great evening’s paddle but a reminder for me of how quickly any fitness and strength vanish when not sustained.

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