Sunday, 25 January 2009

Where's the Wind Then?! 25/01/09

After watching the forecasts all week I had resigned to another weekend of no paddling due to the predicted high winds, so I was rather surprised to wake up yesterday to very light winds.

Checking the internet force 8 was forecast with possible 10 later, so we took a trip to Up and Under's new shop on Penarth Road which is dedicated mostly to paddling. Quite impressive with plenty of space to view all the goodies.

The wind eventually picked up late afternoon with high winds forecast all day for Sunday. So again, much to my surprise, I woke up this morning to hardly any wind. Checking the internet again, this was not forecast, so thinking that the wind would increase at any time I decided to go for a short paddle on the River Taff.

With the recent rain the river was a lot higher than usual and flowing quite fast. Paddling about a mile and a half upstream certainly got the old ticker and arms pumping, good practice for paddling against tide streams!

The return trip back down the river was a lot faster but I prolonged the paddle by constantly ferry gliding back and forth across the river, again more practice for crossing tide streams.

I didn't attempt to go down the weir today, far too gnarly!

The wind again didn't pick up until late afternoon so I don't know what was going on with the forecasts but they don't usually get it wrong. I think I made the right decision not to venture out to sea especially this time of year.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

In with the New 01/01/2009

First a massive thank you must go out to Sian and Alan of Pencarnan for the festivities and fireworks last night to bring in the New Year. Not such a big thank you for the invitation of a morning dip though!!! It certainly made me appreciate the drysuit more if that was possible, and it certainly cleared away any after effects of last night!

When the feeling eventually came back to my feet I ventured back out to sea, this time fully kitted out in drysuit and thermals!

Today I thought I would have a paddle out to St David's Head and then let the southerly flowing ebb tide take me down to the bottom of Ramsey Sound and then follow the coast back to Porthsele.

It wasn't as sunny as yesterday but the sea was still calm except today there was a bit of surf rolling in at Whitesands.

I paddled out past Porth Melgan, on to St David's Head and then into the tide stream which took me quickly down to Gwahan, the small rock north of Ramsey Island, passing 2 porpoises on the way.
As usual the sea got a little bit lively and before I knew it I was breaking out of the current at the NE corner of Ramsey and having a break in the calm of Ogof Velvet.

I carried on after a brief stop back into the main tide stream through Ramsey Sound, passing the confused water around Horse Rock where numerous birds were feeding in the churned up water.

Reaching the mainland opposite the Bitches I have to paddle a little quicker so as not to be taken by the tide out past Pen Dal-adeyrn and into St Brides Bay as can be seen by the lobster pot buoy.

It is then a leisurely paddle along the coast passing a deserted St Justinian, on to St John's point and finally back to Porthsele.

A great way to begin 2009. Never mind how many times I paddle this part of the coastline I never get bored of it with the strong tide races, rugged cliffs and fascinating wildlife.