25/09/16 John, Peter, Stephen Rush to Skerries
So this was it, training session number 1. We had no real plan, just 3 lads in a van heading to rush for a nice downwinder to ease ourselves in. On arrival the waves were bigger and the wind was stronger than we expected. It was tempting to just mess around in the waves but we decided to go for it. As we headed out we quickly realised it was more of a cross winder and a fairly big one at that (20/25 knots) which meant paddling on one side the whole way. Any let up in the paddling and we might have ended up in the UK 10 months earlier than we planned. It wasn't all bad though and the brief encounter with a porpoise was a welcome distraction from the wind. But the distraction didn't last long so we hugged the coast to try and keep out of it and stuck at it. As we hit Loughshinny we thought about pulling in to get a break from the wind but after a quick chat we decided to plough on and landed back on the south strand after 2 hours of paddling. The Geo tracker gave us a nice reality check at the end with an average speed of 4km per hour… at that speed it would take 25 hours to get to the UK but I'm sure the training, better conditions and faster boards will help eat into that. The main thing was that we learnt from it though…… Bring some food and water, figure out the tides and get a faster boards. Hopefully the paddling isn't the only thing I get better at, maybe with a bit of practice I'll get better at writing a blog.