Sunday, 7 December 2008

All around the Water Tower 07/12/2008

After another phone call from Eurion last night I met up with Adrian and Eurion at the lifeboat slipway at Atlantic College on a very sunny but very frosty morning.

The sea conditions were almost perfect with barely any wind for a change. The plan was to paddle eastwards on the last 2 hours of the flood tide and then return on the first 2 hours of the westerly ebbing tide.

Progress was quite rapid but we were easily overtaken by a ship heading to the dock of Cardiff, Bristol or Newport.

On reaching Summerhouse Point the scenery is somewhat spoilt by the sight of Aberthaw Power Station which has created a brown haze in the clear blue sky.

Aberthaw is a coal fired power station which generates 1500 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet the needs of about 1.5 million people or 5 cities the size of Cardiff.

Instead of paddling towards Aberthaw we paddle out to the Water Tower or Caisson located south of the power station.

Apparently it is a cold water inlet which draws water in from the sea which is used for cooling something in the Power Station (apologies for the technical jargon!)

On reaching the water tower, the tide had changed and was already flowing quite quickly westward. Stopping for refreshments and after performing a rescue on Eurion's sandwich box lid we started back on our return journey.

Progress was rapid with what wind there was becoming almost non existent and there was even warmth in the sun.

Passing Llantwit Major we headed in to explore the numerous holes in the horizontally layered cliffs around Tresilian Bay.

Not knowing too much about geology but the cliffs almost look man made, as if built with individual blocks.
After passing Tresilian Bay and it's steep pebbled beach there is a large cave which Eurion informs me is called Reynard's Cave. This was the wettest I got on the whole trip with a lot of water dripping from the cave's roof.

It is then only a short paddle back to the fortified walls of Atlantic College and the end of a fantastic paddle on a glorious day. Hard to believe it is the beginning of December. We covered a distance of nearly 10.5 nautical miles (12 miles or just over 19km) and achieved a top speed of nearly 8.5 knots on our return journey.

Thanks to Eurion and Adrian for the invite.

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