Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Sea, Sun, Sand - life's a beach

This time of year it can be difficult to get tide, time and weather all on your side - so two out of three was not bad with bright sunshine all day on Saturday. The tide was missing, and we seemed to walk nearly as far as we paddled, but a good first trip for Dave

who took to the somewhat unusual combination of a Europa kayak (think outdoor centres in the last century) with a clip-on skeg, and an Anglesey Stick.

Heading out along Llanddwyn - note the stabilisers/sponsons on my boat ....

we were joined by an extra paddler ......... neat launch.

Now, why is it that when a group of kayakers land on a beach (this is Pilot's Cove), one of them always lands away from everyone else?

Hard to believe that it is the 12th of December - picnic on the beach with fried sausages on the 'ghastly' plate, and lashings of tea, before paddling round the island to the usual surf landing.

Quick portage over the isthmus and here we are ready for the home leg.

Monday, 7 December 2009

A trip to Menai Bridge (Porthaethwy) to visit Emma instead of Nelson

The forecast was not great (SW4/5 with gusts to 35 knots), but cabin fever had been growing for some time ..........

Saturday's tide was always going to be big - 3 days after the full moon + a low pressure system + several days of wind from the SW so every chance of reaching Church Island in Menai Bridge if we timed it right.

Anyway, left The Mermaid (Foel) at about 10.15 - weather a bit gloomy, and a quartering sea which made for some interesting paddling.

Rich had opted for a paddle in the stealth boat

which is rather low on volume for him, and this combined with a partly open rear hatch, found him paddling with the back deck under water by the first stop. Still, it was time for a cup of tea anyway.

Better conditions as we neared Plas Newydd

(and yes, I am facing the wrong way in a shameless display of the Anglesey Stick website address)

Wind was gusting hard as we passed Nelson, and went under the Britannia Bridge - couple of groups from Plas Menai (power boat) enjoying their lunch, and we were beside the Church Island causeway in no time.

It is not very often that this is a convenient get out, but it was a high tide

Emma managed the trip from her back door to meet us (about 50 metres) and stand in the rain for a while, and admire the rainbows

There was still plenty of water, but we were a bit late leaving in terms of the strength of the tidal flow which made for somewhat challenging conditions near the bridge - Rich demonstrated how to break in and out of various whirlpools - or at least that is his story.

Through the bridge the water was doing a passable imitation of Penhryn Mawr, so we slogged over to the mainland shore to hide from the worst of the wind.

Fairly straightforward to Port Dinorwic (Y Felinheli), and a break for tea and a pasty just East of the Plas Menai slip, then kept to the Caernarfon shore until we could spot a reasonable line back to Foel. Conditions had deteriorated a bit with driving rain and spray and a darkening sky, and Rich found the left side of his face had gone numb, so glad enough to reach the beach.

About 23k paddled.