Sunday, 23 November 2008

What No Salt!!! 23/11/2008

With no paddling on the last two weekends due to the windy conditions, and this one being the same, I was going a bit stir crazy and decided to go for a paddle on the River Taff, my local river.

Launching just above Radyr Weir I paddled upstream passing under the M4 with Castell Coch dominating the hillside above the river.

Castell Coch, translated from Welsh is the Red Castle, was built on the remains of a 14th century castle in the 1870's and completed in 1891 for the Third Marquis of Bute.

Paddling up a little further to a small stretch of white water where, when there is more water in the river, there is a small wave to play on.

I turn around and have a leisurely paddle back down the river to Radyr Weir which, again, could have done with having a bit more water going over it, but even still was good fun and I got a good soaking at the bottom.

Only a short paddle but good to get back on the water even though it wasn't salty!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

RNLB Garside 01/11/2008

Whilst visiting St Justinian yesterday I noticed that the St David's Lifeboat was launching at 9.30am today on a practice launch.

With the inshore shipping forecast promising wind increasing 6-7 perhaps gale 8 later it seemed an ideal excuse for an early start.

Arriving at St Justinian early I checked out the preparatory work for the new boathouse and slipway which is needed to accommodate the new Tamar class boat which is bigger and faster than the present Tyne class boat that is due to be replaced by 2012. It looks a bit of a shambles at the moment, Health & Safety would have a field day!

With that the door opened and the Garside engines roared to life. It then slid down the ramp and into the water, but I missed the best picture when the boat hits the water!

The Garside was donated to the RNLI by Thomas H Garside and his sister Dorothy and is a Tyne class lifeboat. She is 47' long with 14'8" beam and a 5' draft, she also has a steel hull with aluminium superstructure.

The Garside is powered by twin General Motors six cylinder diesel engines, each producing 425hp with a maximum speed of 17.5 knots and a range of 240 nautical miles.

In the event of a capsize she is designed to self right within 10 seconds.

The Garside circled and came back into St Justinian then sped off into the middle of Ramsey Sound through the large standing waves, and before I knew it, she had disappeared, very impressive though.

I started my paddle back slightly slower than the Garside and even slower when I rounded St John's Point and felt the full force of the North Easterly wind.

I paddled out to Carreg Gafeilliog and had a bit of a play in the rough water between the rocky outcrops.
I was about to paddle back into Porthsele when I heard the familiar roar of the Garside's engines as she came into view and headed into the sheltered water of Porth Melgan.

Altering my plans I paddled over to Porth Melgan. Although only about a mile, it was hard work into the continuous wind. At least when reaching Porth Melgan it was sheltered and warm in the sun. I spend about half an hour watching the lifeboat, nicely driven Mike!

It was then an easy paddle back to Porthsele with the wind behind me.