Sunday, 31 January 2010

Bristol Channel Sunrise 31/01/2010

It was a crisp, cold morning as I launched from Penarth just as the sun was starting to rise over the North Devon coast on the opposite side of the Bristol Channel.
Today the tides are very big Springs with it being a 14.1 metres and in the short time I spent taking a few photos of the sun rising I had already drifted several hundred yards away from where I had launched.

I paddled against the tide back along Penarth front towards the Cardiff Bay Barrage with the rising sun illuminating the buildings and reflecting in the glass front of the Penarth Lifeboat Station, but there wasn't enough strength in it to start melting the ice on the deck of my kayak.

Approaching Penarth Pier I looked back at Flat Holm and Steep Holm nicely silouehetted by the rising sun. There wasn't much room to get under the pier, it will be interesting to see how far the tide has fallen on my return.
It is only a short distance from Penarth Pier to the Cardiff Bay Barrage but I made slow progress against the tide and I was overtaken by the Hopper Dredger Sospan Dau also on the way to the Barrage.
There wasn't much room for the Sospan Dau to get between the two breakwaters and into the sheltered water by the three locks that allow boats to enter and leave Cardiff Bay especially with a fishing boat heading out into the Bristol Channel.

I landed on the small beach by the one breakwater and walked over to the Barrage to watch with admiration as the 71 metre long and 14 metre wide Dredger manoeuvred and set to work dredging the channel out into the Bristol Channel.

I relaunched as the Sospan Dau left the Barrage and followed her as she steamed off back out to sea.

I paddle out to the Outer Wrach West Cardinal Buoy which was really straining against its moorings, I had very little time to take these photos before I was swept past it by the fast flowing tide.

I ferry glide back across to Penarth Pier and couldn't believe how much the sea level had dropped in just over an hour. There was now plenty of room to paddle under the pier. It really shows the huge tidal range of the Bristol Channel, second biggest in the world after the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia.

It is only a short paddle back to where I launched from but at least there is some beach to land on and even the ice on the deck is starting to melt!


soundoftheseagull said...

Great colours in the Sunrise pics

Richard said...

I was lucky that day, within 30 mins the sun disappeared into a bank of cloud and wasn't seen for the rest of the day!