On a bright and breezy afternoon John, David and I met at Portsoy harbour for a short afternoon paddle. The air temperature was about 4 degrees Celcius and we had a good forecast for the afternoon. The westerly breeze and a short swell had set up some entertainingly clapotic conditions near the mouth of the harbour so we paddled across the bay towards the West Head where we'd get some shelter from the breeze.
John and David have recently purchased new boats; John has a P & H Cetus MV
David has opted for a Tiderace Xplore. Both these well-regarded boats looked superbly well built and finished.
Soon we were in the lee of the shore and in conditions which were better for getting a feel for the handling of the boats. We paddled a couple of gaps on our way out toward the West Head; as we neared Redhythe Point the increase in swell was noticeable.
Returning along the shore we pulled into this small beach which is more or less inaccessible from the land. Here we could climb above the shore a little to sit in the sun on soft tussocky grass for lunch.
On our return to Portsoy we were able to explore a couple more inlets before heading offshore to open up a downsea run into the harbour mouth. The clapotis and slightly increased swell gave some good opportunity for John and David to experience the performance of both boats in choppy water - both of the boats simply cruised through the confused water.
Back in the harbour I had a short try of David's Xplore, and made an undignified exit on the weed covered slipway in knee deep water....
It was good to meet and paddle with John and David, two more enthusiastic paddlers!