Ahead of my more comprehensive post about Nick, it’s worth reporting that I had two runs with Daren from Jack & Jill whilst the weather was still warm and a couple of excursions in my kayak.
On 24th July we ran along to top of the Downs, past Ditchling Beacon and on the next gate before turning around and retracing our steps. Daren kindly agreed to forgo our normal challenging circuit in favour of this more gentle run on account of my knees being painful… maybe on account of some gardening marathon or similar. During the run we paused to marvel at a two-headed sheep that was sensibly sitting down so that it didn’t pull itself in two. 6.8 miles in 69 minutes, an average of 5.91 mph.
The 1st August saw me paddling a very dusty kayak for the first time in an age. Daren & Charlie were feeding the other Martlet’s club members from a floating kitchen (strapped to the top of an open canoe) adjacent to the Palace Pier. I have no pictures of this hilarious endeavour, but judging by the number of people and seagulls looking down from the boardwalk above, it was a spectacular attraction!
On the 29th August I joined Martlet’s for a second feast on the water, this time where a kitchen was hung from a tripod strapped onto two surf skis… very ingenious. After a delicious light meal and as I finished eating a tasty piece of cake for dessert, I vaguely heard Dai ask if anyone wanted to paddle to ‘the buoy’. I finished my cake and chased after him and two others. After what seemed like half an hour I was starting to get worried… I could see no buoys, only the wind farm in the distance. They paused so that I could catch up and assured me that there was indeed a sailing buoy somewhere out there on this now glassy water. We paddled on, maybe for another half an hour until the buoy came slowly into view. Turning around for the paddle back, the view was stunning, with the coast from Worthing to Beachy Head arrayed in one long & narrow horizontal line, bounded top and bottom by acres of sea and sky. As the sun slowly went down it was a magical view, though alas I didn’t dare risk taking my phone out of its waterproof bag to capture it. That impromptu paddle is the furthest that I have been in my kayak in years… it was a really amazing workout for my shoulders, especially since I was trying to keep up with Dai & Charlie who were in sleek sea kayaks!
On 7th September Daren and I returned to our normal circuit, but at an uncommonly slow speed even for the extreme gradients… I kept my toe tucked under the accelerator pedal so that Daren could not push on faster :-). 6.5 miles took us 84 minutes, a rather pedestrian 4.64 mph!
Below are some other images I took over the summer… beware large bugs 🙂