Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Ice to be beside the seaside

You may have noticed that it is decidedly chilly out at the moment - not really sea kayaking weather - so we (usual suspects, plus Rod from Sea Kayak Milos) left a snow strewn Newborough beach yesterday for a short bimble up the coast, hiding to some extent from the North Easterly wind. The air temperature was just above freezing and with some sun, almost the same as paddling in Greece - actually it was pretty cold, and got colder still as we headed over to Pen-y-Parc.

Where some of the sand was frozen, and there were plenty of icicles on the cliff.

Quick bite to eat and some tea - too cold to hang around for long, so back across the mouth of the Malltraeth estuary where the wind had got up a bit and was attacking the extremities somewhat - still the view of the mountains  was pretty inspiring

and we were soon back at Newborough. About 13k paddled.

The cold had a pretty detrimental effect on picture quality except for this next one (taken by accident) - kind of arty don't you think?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Under the weather

Good short paddle, rock-hopping around Llanddwyn in some autumn sunshine - and home by 11am.

TV forecast was for SW 3 or 4 and the inshore waters forecast looked like this:

    Northwest backing south or southwest 3 or 4, occasionally 5, increasing 7 to severe gale 9 later.
Sea State
    Moderate, becoming rough later.
    Fair, then rain, squally showers later.
    Good, becoming moderate or poor later.

Not very encouraging, particularly at this time of year, but maybe you have to look a little closer at the weather pattern sometimes - here are some pictures from the trip:

Ok, it was a little rougher on the Northern side of the island (great visibility - you could see spray from the waves hitting Rhoscolyn Beacon), with more swell, but still fairly calm really.

Here are two synoptic charts - what we were experiencing:

and the start of what was coming:

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Whither shall we wander?

I have been working on some trip planning software for kayaking off the coast of Anglesey. You know the problem - you can get out for a few hours tomorrow, or sometime over the weekend, but where to go given the tide times and likely weather?

The program instructions are simple enough:

Enter the time for 'High Water Dover' for the relevant day (Click [Easy Tide] to use the Admiralty Tidal prediction service) - remember to add daylight saving if appropriate.
  • Enter wind strength and direction. Click [Met Office] for an explanation of the Beaufort wind scale, and on the same page a link to the Inshore Waters forecast
  • Enter Start and Stop times (HH:MM) for your paddling 'window' - the program defaults to Dawn to Dusk
  • Choose the type of trip - Linear (one way) or Return, and a maximum trip length
  • Click [Matching Trips]
and it produces a screen like this

With basic details about trip timings, possible hazards, facilities, etc

The program can also display a graphical representation of tidal flow around the island

If you would be interested in a copy of the program, just email me kayak@adit.co.uk and I will send you a link to the download.

Although the program seems to work well, it is at beta test stage, and may contain errors of fact as well as logic, and has only a limited number of routes.

All feedback welcome.