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05 March 2007

Day 26 - 5/3/07

Matt's finished his circumnavigation - 26 days (24 paddling, 1 day for repairs & 1 due to weather).

Today he left Kettering at 7.30am. Initially, conditions were fairly calm and he cruised down the channel at 9 km/h. At 10am he was at Gordon where the Channel widens and he faced very strong s/w headwinds as the course of the channel turns to the s/w.

By 12.55pm he was off Dover and called from his kayak to say he was sheltering in a cove, having a break, sitting 10 metres from a sea eagle, perched in a tree.

I had travelled down to Cockle Creek, half expecting to camp there and see Matt tomorrow but, true to his word, he appeared just before 7pm, having paddled for 11 and a half hours in headwinds, driving rain and steep seas. He hugged the coast for much of the time, paddling further (than the straight line course) but utilising every bit of shelter available.

He quickly changed into warm clothes, we loaded the kayak and headed off. 70km into the wind for the day.

I'm not sure whether Matt will be paddling in the Kingston kayak races tomorrow evening. He now faces the problem of trying to edit 16 hours of video into something watchable. That may take a lot more than 26 days.