Monday, 30 August 2010

Should We Stay or Should We Go? 30/08/2010

With the wind and sea finally calming through the night, Claire decided to carry on her paddle along the Welsh Coast which she had started on Saturday, paddling up from Dale.
Yesterday Claire had the day off as the weather was far from ideal, so with an early start we left Porthsele and paddled out towards St David's Head, the first and major hurdle on today's proposed paddle hopefully to Fishguard.
Reaching the Head, conditions were still rather lumpy but we decided to carry on as the tide was in our favour and the wind was forecast to drop during the day.
Progress was worryingly slow (not helped by a map case) but reaching Penllechwen the sea calmed down and we started to make some headway.
As we paddled toward the impressive Carn Penberry the sea conditions improved even more and we started to get into a decent paddling rhythm.
We were going to land at the Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy but as we were making good progress we decided to carry on.
Paddling through the gap between Cerrig Wylan and the mainland we encountered some pretty big overfalls, luckily the waves weren't breaking. It never fails to amaze me how the sea can vary so much in just a couple of hundred yards.
Passing Porthgain we decide to paddle straight for Strumble Head and hopefully use the last of the flooding tide to take us round another possible hurdle of today's paddle.
We make very good progress passing the beach at Pwll Deri in the shadow of the 213 metre high peak of Garn Fawr.

After four and a half hours of paddling we arrive at Strumble Head Lighthouse perched on top of Ynys Meicel joined to the mainland by a small metal footbridge.

There is very little tide as we pass under the footbridge, hopefully this should be the last possible obstacle of today's paddle.

We encounter a little adverse tide toward Fishguard Bay passing Carregwasted Point which was the landing point of the last invasion of mainland Britain by the French back in 1797 which needless to say was easily repelled.

We decided against landing on one of the steep pebbled beaches to the west of the harbour breakwater passing the second lighthouse of the day.

Claire decides to camp on one of the beaches to the South of Dinas Head so we paddle across Fishguard Bay just missing the Fishguard-Rosslare ferry which crept out just behind us.

Claire picks a secluded bay where we land after just over seven hours on the water. It looks a perfect campsite where we have a well deserved cuppa before I leave Claire wishing her good luck on the rest of her paddle along the Welsh coast and hope the weather keeps improving like it has done through the day.

I stay close into the cliffs on my paddle back to Fishguard Harbour where there are some impressive stacks and arches to explore.

It is a perfect way to end the days paddle threading in and out of the numerous small bays and caves.

As I paddle toward Lower Fishguard I hear the large engines of the Fast Cat entering the harbour. I have been caught out by the wake off this before but today it must be going a bit slower.

I paddle into Lower Fishguard where the tide is out before I paddle across the Harbour to land at Goodwick.

A paddle of just over 23 nautical miles (26.7 miles of 43km) where hopefully I gave Claire a bit of moral support around St David's Head and Strumble Head!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Juicing It Up Again 29/08/2010

With the wind already pretty strong and a possible Force 7 on the way there was to be no sea kayaking today, so although a bit messy Chris and myself thought we would give it a go in his Surf Ski and my Dagger Juice.
Although not brilliant surfing waves there was enough power in them to easily loop the kayak forwards and to have some pretty decent rides even though it was a bit of a battle against the wind.
We had a very enjoyable few hours battling against the wind and waves and a big thank you must go to Kurt and my better half Tracy for braving the wind whilst taking the photos.
After a hearty meal, me and the family take a walk down to Porthsele and along the Coast Path to watch the sun setting behind North Bishop, a perfect way to end a good day's paddling and hopefully the weather might improve enough over night for a little trip up to Fishguard.