Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Sea Kayak Sunday

Construction now has its own blog at Anglesey Boat

Anglesey is known as a bit of a Mecca for sea kayakers, am I am frequently surprised at how few paddlers are actually on the water - particularly during the winter months. If you exclude the bit of coast between Trearddur Bay and Porth Dafarch, it seems to have been pretty quiet.

Of course some stalwarts will have been out and about - Justine and Alun, and John Willacy, and no doubt some others, but it has felt as if we have had the island to ourselves.

This all changed on Sunday (21st) - first of all with a friendly exchange with some kayakers going the opposite way to us as we headed for Beaumaris, and then finding 9 boats on the foreshore at Gallows Point, where we were dropped off at the water's edge thanks to Rich's Landy.

Launched into the chop where the forecast S4 was giving SW4/5 against the tide – hence a bit of work to do for at least the first kilometre or so.

Round the corner on the way to the gazelle came across two of Roger’s boats with one paddler obviously rather more experienced than the other.

Conditions eased somewhat as we headed for Menai Bridge.

and it was soon time for a tea stop at Porth Daniel.

Once the tide has slackened, we headed through the suspension bridge and then met 13 kayakers including one paddling with a stick (Mark) who had launched at Port Dinorwic. Forgot to ask,but suspect this group was North West Sea Kayakers.

It was very quiet in the Swellies, and here is Rich holding on to the Swelly Rock Perch (a south cardinal mark).

Heading for the 'new' bridge, we met 3 more kayakers including another experienced paddler.

Lunch on the mainland side – pasty and beans – a bit calmer for a while here until the tide really got going.

Paddled up to PD then a quick blast through the lumpy stuff to Moel Y Don (Plas Coch).

Where we saw these two old wooden boats (both with stripped decks).

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Cutting commentary

Whether influenced by years of outdoor activity, or perhaps just my generation, I usually carry a knife. In the current era of moral panics, this is not fashionable, but I suspect most kayakers reading this have at least a knife as part of a normal emergency kit - probably stuffed in the front of their PFD.

I carry one of the common cheap brands (typhoon), and have never used it - but in theory one day it will be needed to cut me free from my paddle leash.

My penknife is rarely not on my person (basically just at airports) and, in contrast, is used frequently. Last week - walking part of the Anglesey Coastal Path, to free a pregnant ewe from a tangle of brambles, but usually for rather more mundane tasks. Out walking, I often also carry one or more walking poles - with tungstone carbide tips - guess which would make a decent offensive weapon.

I have been entertained by the publicity given to the achievements of Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton who has kayaked 'solo' down the Amazon and, in the process, broken two 'world records' - Australia must be much smaller than I thought.