The original planned launch date has now been and gone, and in that slightly ironic way I wouldn't have launched anyway. It appears someone has opened the door to low pressure systems and forgot to shut it, with another system due through this week having just been battered by one as May began, so I'm sitting here all smug about not going yet.
Whilst long range forecasting isn't easy, my basic meteorology tells me that when the jet stream is below or over us it doesn't give for glassy, windless exped conditions, more likely to be dodging constant pressure systems as appears to be happening this month... Not a great time to launch.
I'm now a week out from launch date two and things haven't really improved from my last post. The route through the Irish Sea is limited at the moment due to Covid rules and I originally wanted to complete this early in the trip, so I've had to compromise plan A, and choose to leave that to the end in the vague hope that there are more options available.
Plan B was to start in Scotland, which would give the longest time for the Irish sea options to open up, but that has the issues of re-opening in tiers which can change at short notice and already it look's like the increase of cases in Moray are likely to make movement there difficult, so my route choice is being compromised again. Plan C is to start around Northumberland in the hope that the issues with Plan A and B have gone away.
The only thing I wanted to have absolute confidence in when I put my first paddle stroke in was that I could, a) get round, and b) get round in the way that I wanted to do it, as this isn't something I'm likely to get the chance to repeat. What I learned very quickly on Lejog was that confidence was sometimes more importance that competence, and when it gets a bit tough you need that confidence to help get you to the end.
The problem I now have is I've lost confidence in it going my way.
The great philosopher Mike Tyson said "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the face". All I'm trying to do is delay the inevitable punch, at which point the plan goes out of the window, I feel at the moment that I'm running into them with my hands at my side, as the restriction are just placing too many constraints on being able to go at it with confidence and dodge the 'punches' as I can't, and shouldn't dodge the restrictions.
So with all that in mind I've decided to shelve round Britain for this year and roll it to a time when hopefully I can give it the full Frank Sinatra and do it my way, as I don't have the ability to do that this year. What I do have though is time and a great winter of training under my belt and I'm keen to go test some stuff that I'd set up for the trip, so plan AA is to do the circumnavigation of Wales. This works in that it isn't currently affected by any restrictions that will affect me and based on the fact it should take less time is unlikely to change while I'm out. For those who are wondering how you circumnavigate a country that isn't and island there are some beautifully placed canals to make it a perfect lap. I'm still looking at the 17th as a launch date, dependent on the weather obviously which is currently pretty changeable.
Disappointing though not going round is, I've really enjoyed the new training that this Winter has given me and I'm sure I'll enjoy the challenges that Wales presents just as much as. So the page has a new name, Kayak (a bit of) Britain. Catchy.