Day 09 – Eldhusodden to Orsvagen campsite (17th August) by George “The Famous Five experience challenging conditions on their last day”
Following the early night to avoid the heavy rain and wind, the Famous Five were up early, to see a bright sunny day, with little wind. We had a relaxed morning, drying our kit on the sun-drenched rocks, enjoying an extended breakfast and drinking tea; after all this was our last day, and we had gas and petrol to use up. More importantly we were waiting for the wind to die down before we headed round the airport headland, Timmy thought this was a really good idea.
George heard words like swell, rolling seas, clapotis, and the need to stay out at sea, so she had some more food and travel sickness pills. Dick kept his 10L water supply in case we found time to stop for lunch or afternoon tea. We headed due south towards the airport headland in choppy but easily manageable seas. As we approached the airport the swell started to increase, and when we rounded the headland, we had huge swell (George is only small) confused by clapotis. Timmy had to nip Dick’s heals viciously to get him to stay far enough offshore; George held on to her paddle very tightly; Julian relaxed at the back taking photos.
The sea state improved as we passed the headland, and we experienced a slightly more regular following sea. We were now whizzing along. Suddenly, Anne indicated she was in difficulty and asked George and Julian to raft up and come to her rescue. We rafted up to find that Anne’s paddle was nearly in two pieces, and for some time she had been paddling with a dangerously floppy paddle. With the paddle screwed back together we maintained our offshore route as the winds continued to decrease. We kept out at sea till we had a clear relatively calm path back to land and our staring campsite. George thinks that Dick and Julian may have preferred a slightly shorter and more exciting route, however, Timmy and Anne were in charge and they considered caution to be the prudent option.
We finally entered the calm waters of Orsvagen, where Timmy encouraged Dick to try rolling a fully loaded sea boat. Dick had said he would do this all week and he was running out of time. Dick quickly learnt the consequences of having a 10L bag of water under his knees when he capsized. He came out his boat quite quickly. Mature Julian thought he could do better, and gave a good example of a roll, however, he gave a much poorer example of how to close the neck on your dry suit before capsizing into cold water. Timmy, George and Anne were not wearing dry suits and did not consider anything as silly as rolling in arctic waters.
We landed at our final destination, unpacked and cleaned the boats and borrowed kit, before sitting down to lunch with our stoves on the picnic benches in the campsite. This was despite already having the key to our cabin for the night. I feared this was because our clean clothes were still with the kayak hire man, and our L’eau de unwashed may have been overpowering indoors. However, I think none of us were really ready to end our adventure and return to civilisation.
However, once we were in doors and clean, Dick who now knows that dried couscous is designed for dieters not multi day kayakers, took control and ordered pizzas. Dick ordering and nearly finishing a two-person pizza, before demolishing some chocolate brownie. Timmy, of course, ate his remaining expedition food, whilst tutting that the rest of us had sold out, and our behaviour was unbecoming of the Famous Five.
Heavy rains arrived and it finally felt good to be tucked up warm and safe in bed in our cabin, our Lofoten kayaking adventure really was over, well until the next time….