Saturday, 25 April 2009

Welsh Canoe & Kayak Show 09 25/04/2009

Having been advertised for quite a while we thought we would check out the Welsh Canoe & Kayak Show at the new Up and Under Watersports at Cardiff Marine Village.

It is an ideal location right on the River Ely and a lot of people took advantage of this to try out the numerous demo boats.

It seemed to be a tremendous success and I would particularly like to thank Palm who kindly sent some fixing screws for a thigh brace free of charge, but also sent numerous stickers, keyrings, and dagger t shirt for my son, which may not seem a lot but certainly put a smile on the boys faces!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

An Ideal Day 19/04/2009

With what little wind there was yesterday dropping off and the swell dying down today was an ideal day for paddling, but seeing as I had done my fair share over the last week or so I thought it was time for some family fun......

The conditions were also ideal for Bobby to have his first go at surfing.

With the state of the tide as it was it was also ideal for Bobby to explore his first sea caves.

It was also an ideal day for Harry to venture out in the kayak....

All in all an ideal day.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Porthgain via a Blue Lagoon 18/04/2009

With it being another not too windy, cloudless sunny day I decided to use the last of the flood tide to take me NW up to Abereiddy or possibly Porthgain, and then use the first of the ebbing tide to bring me back to Porthsele on my return.

On reaching St David's Head I was quite surprised how choppy the sea conditions were so instead of paddling quite close to the cliffs I stayed a few hundred yards offshore.

Although I would miss exploring the numerous small coves and inlets on the way I would get the full benefit of the tidal flow and avoid the confused water near the cliffs.

Progress was quite rapid passing the 175m high peak of Carn Penberry and the rocky outcrop of Carreg-gwylan-fach.

Before I knew it I was entering Abereiddy bay dodging the numerous flagged buoys marking the spider crab nets.

The tide was just right to pass the remains of the old workings and through the narrow gap into the now flooded Abereiddy Slate Quarries now called the Blue Lagoon. The water is so blue due to the effect of the slate on the water.

This is an ideal place to have a rest as it is nearly sheltered from all directions. It is hard to imagine that in the 19th century the lagoon was a hive of industry, now it can be quite eerie especially like today when it is deserted.

Passing back out through the narrow entrance I look up to the 18th century stone tower on the headland of Trwyncastell.

After paddling between the rocky outcrop of Cerrig Gwylan and the mainland the sea conditions become a bit rougher around the headland of Penclegyr, but not enough to stop me going through the narrow arch which leads through Penclegyr and into Porth Dwfn and back again.

It is then only a short but quite choppy paddle to the small harbour of Porthgain with its now disused brick hoppers which were used to store crushed granite.

After another rest it is back to the return leg. I again decide to stay away from the cliffs. With the tide having now turned I make good progress and before too long I am back at the impressive high cliffs of St Davids Head and then Ramsey Island comes into view.

It is now a paddle across Whitesands Bay and back to a quiet Porthsele with Pencarnan campsite above.

A paddle of nearly 15 nautical miles (17 miles or just over 27km) exploring a lot of Pembrokeshire's industrial past.

Friday, 17 April 2009

A Hazy April Evening 17/04/2009

Arriving back down West after a few days back in work I had Bobby on the case as soon as I turned the engine off! This was his third day that he hadn't been in his kayak!

So after a few warm up exercises he was back on the water.

After nearly an hour exploring the bay, Bobby started to get tired so once I paddled back into Porthsele with him I went out for a quick early evening paddle.

Paddling out and around St David's Head I then paddled out north eastward away from the mainland and let the southerly flowing ebb tide take me down to Gwahan.

I stopped a few times to take photo's of the NE facing cliffs of St David's Head, Ramsey Island and a very hazy watery sun, with North Bishop just visible on the horizon.

As usual as soon as I put the camera away and started paddling again a couple of porpoises broke the surface a few times and then disappeared as soon as I got the camera back out!

Before I knew it I was at Gwahan where I took a few more photos of the weak setting sun and South Bishop lighthouse in the haze.

It was then a leisurely paddle back to Porthsele where the watery sun was just disappearing into the misty clouds.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

More Paddling Practice and Another Rescue 14/04/2009

With it being a mid morning high tide and with the weather having improved considerably from yesterday, the whole family descended on Porth Clais for more paddling practice for Bobby, my youngest son Harry to do some gardening and my better half Tracy to be official photographer.

A little bit of white water again to start and then a paddle out to the harbour entrance in a boat free stretch of water.

Paddling out past the shelter of the harbour wall there is a nice little swell, ideal for Bobby to get used to the feel of his boat.

On returning to Pencarnan I was just about to go for a last paddle before returing home for a couple of days when a SAR helicopter appeared and headed towards Ramsey Sound.

Grabbing my camera I ran over to the cliff path expecting to see the helicopter disappear, but it stayed in the area for well over half an hour hovering over the Ocean Ranger, one of Ramsey Island boat trip RIBs. For a full report of the incident click here and scroll down to 14/04/2009.