I was trapped in my car awaiting a school bus with nowhere to cower and no bleeper to pretend to go off unexpectedly, being talked at by a remote acquaintance about high finance (well, high finance Holsworthy style).OK, so hedge funds are nothing to do with vouchers from your local garden centre, but who really cares?
I switched over to a mode I seem to use increasingly often as I am bludgeoned by thunderously tedious conversation by thunderously tedious people who (fortunately) require very little in the way of response. My jaw is involuntarily locked in the semi-yawn position, my sleep centres are activated by the monotone drawl and my eyelids start to droop, yet I have developed the knack of jamming my mouth into a cadaverous smile, nodding and saying ‘yes ‘ every so often , and apparently gripped by the subject matter while inside I am dreaming of far away sun drenched sandy beaches. Like this one….
Heading off towards the horizon on an all-day kayak trip by yourself is a weird thing to do but it guarantees no encounters with thunderbores and enables you to visit your fantasy beaches in real life- what could be better?
I set off from Porthleven at first light and caught a succession of mackerel and garfish on a Gulp sandeel. Dawn is always a great time to catch fish.
As the sun rose the fish died away. I passed a number of lovely sandy beaches and then a couple of big cliffs with whopping hotels on top. One had so many house martins swarming around it resembled a swarm of bees.
The four miles from Mullion to Kynance have got to be amongst the most dramatic in the whole south-west. Mighty cliffs and a number of sweeping bays with graggy buttresses at the ends and usually a sandy or gravelly beach for a quick tea break in the middle.
The tide began to be more evident as I neared Lizard point and I hooked some bigger fish, and lost a few. Biggest was a pollack nearly 4 lbs.
I engineered my arrival at Kynance to coincide with low tide so the strip of sand connecting the mainland with Asparagus island was exposed. I am generally disappointed when hyped up places don’t live up to expectations but Kynance Cove has every reason to be smug with itself….tropical style sand and sea but with no tropical style Germans on beach towls.
Time to head back to Porthleven and I was not particularly thrilled at the prospect of a fifteen mile paddle into a gusty northerly wind. I hugged the cliffs to stay in the shelter, and caught a load more pollack, this time using a Dexter wedge.
The first rocky cove north of Kynance really is spectacular.I looked around and saw absolutely no evidence of the existence of mankind…..oh,apart from the trail of vapour 30,000ft above from a Globemaster American military transport plane- the turbofans make a characteristic whine.
But I could sense several pairs of eyes scrutinising me. A peregrine sat atop a bluff called ‘the Horse’ and there were my old friends, a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls eyeing me up for vulnerability,yelping their horrible primeval gulpy bark at each other. This was not chat about investment opportunities,this was more like ‘you have his eyeballs,I’ll have his tongue’.
The nagging headwind was tempered by the blue sky and sun behind my back showing up the coast to its absolute best. Mullion cove is indeed a dramatic location tucked in behind a variety of sea stacks. Its harbour walls were draped in loafing tourists and fishermen who never catch anything.
It was a serious slog from Gunwalloe Fishing Cove along the three miles of beach back to Porthleven-lucky I didn’t catch any fish as every time I halted I got blown back twenty yards.
True fishermen probably know this but trolling from a kayak is very unproductive on sunny days, apart from dawn and dusk. And incidentally the whole of Mount’s Bay seems to be generally pretty rubbish for fishing apart from its extremities where the tide gets going a bit.
However to buck this trend I did manage to catch my only bass of the day when I ventured past Porthleven to visit the stunning sandy beach hemmed in by cliffs and accessible only from the sea.
Of course it was returned to the water, like virtually all the fish I catch.
Arrival at this beach is a big milestone for me and represents the completion of the south coast part of my ‘Up the Creek’ project.I have paddled from Holsworthy to Land’s End and gone up every estuary,creek and gutter till I could go no further. Most of the sea bits I have done twice in ‘there and back’ trips.
Holsworthy to Land’s End is a distance of,approximately,368.2 miles.I make no apology for having measured it by GPS as I go.Nerdy, yes,but that’s what I do. Just got to complete the North coast bit from Shebbear to Land’s End now.