Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Surfing A Wake

Very favourable wind conditions made it possible for Ray Goodwin to guide our annual trip for the Peddelpraat club around the Isle of Mull in just eight days. A highlight on the west side of the Isle of Mull is always the 'intimate' close encounters with the Puffins. But it was the east side of Mull, on our last day, that had a most memorable experience for us. After rounding Duart Point, we came across a pod of four dolphins that was feeding in the bay. After observing them for half an hour we decided to continue. I lingered a little longer and the distance between me and the group became larger. To close the gap I started sprinting... Within seconds the dolphins are cruising off my bow. The spouts, not in sync, sound like quick successive launching of fireworks display shells. Whenever I sprint, they are half a metre off my bow. My kayak is even picked up by a dolphin generated wave; surfing the wake of a dolphin... What a magnificent display, what an experience! When I catch up with the group, others enjoy the same. The dolphins are playing and follow us into the bay were we want to camp. It is far from over yet. More play: jumps, bellies up, bumping in to each other; they play with each other and use our kayaks as 'playing field' markers. We share our camping spot with four paddlers from a Scottish sea kayak club. Many photo's are taken, even film. In the distance we see a flock of sea gulls squeaking in an agitated state. Four Minke whales are feeding in the middle of the Firth of Lorn. Wow! Unbelievable! What a magnificent display of Nature.