Walney Island

I hadn't intended to do the round trip. In fact I'd decided to have a gentle afternoon around Piel, enjoy the company of the seals and sun and sit on the beaches drinking coffee...The tides were all wrong anyway with HW too late in the day.
Arriving at Roa Island, the north going stream was running as expected; watching it pour across the jetty I made a few quick calculations. Not only was HW late in the afternoon, meaning I'd be too early to make best use of the flood through the channel, it was already 12.30pm, meaning I'd have to be quick to make it round before dark. I would also hit Haws point earlier in the ebb, when the flow is strongest (and gives rise to a good wave if conditions are right)...nothing like a little edge of uncertainty to provide motivation.
I launched at 1pm, beside the lifeboat station...
...mirror calm conditions and Piel Island a long way behind 10 minutes later.
At this point, passing the docks, tidal assisstance had already become minimal, although it picked up a little going under the bridge.
Oyster catchers off the northern end of the island and after 1h 30m on the water, time for a quick break. (Using the tide 'correctly' and paddling without undue effort, on Sps it is possible to cover this section in approx 1hr; I had put in a fair degree of effort to get there in 1hr 30.)
Paddling without a cag for the first time this year, I cooled quickly in the northerly breeze, but back on the water, with the gentlest of following seas, it was a fast, long ride south and I was soon heating up.
Quickly passing Earnse Point, I stopped looking at the watch knowing I had plenty of light and carried on until level with the lighthouse...
...from where the channel is visible, before my second stop.
With the sky just starting to colour, the promise of a spectacular sunset meant I lingered on the beach, waiting until I knew I had just enough time before dark to make it back to Roa Island.
The seals were waiting too; I passed approximately 100 yards off shore and then let the ebb carry me back more closely. Undisturbed, they watched as I floated quietly by, much closer than before.
With the sun now a red orb floating just above the horizon, I crossed to Piel Island and the castle...
...beyond which a pair of eider enjoyed the last of a beautiful day.
Off the water then at 6.30pm: perfect timing!
Allowing around 45 minutes for stops in total, time on the water equalled approximately 4hrs 45mins; 33km paddled therefore gives an average speed of approximately 7kmph.
I'm not normally too concerned about such matters unless critical to the the trip, but it was an interesting exercise on this day.