Sunday, 9 January 2011

First Paddle Of The Year 09-01-2011

I was finally back on the water after not paddling at all over the festive period and missing out on the traditional New Year's Day swim and paddle.

I set off from the Sully YC slipway early and was out by the Lavernock Spit South Cardinal Buoy just as the sun was rising. 

I stopped by the buoy and watched as the sun slowly climbed over the horizon with a ship passing at an opportune moment. 

I was about to start paddling again when the Pembroke Fisher, a 135m long Oil Tanker changed course and headed my way. I decided to let her pass as I am sure they wouldn't appreciate doing an emergency stop this early in the morning.

After letting the Pembroke Fisher pass I carried on paddling letting the Easterly flowing flood tide take me toward Flat Holm.  

I was soon at the West side of the small island passing two of Flat Holm's gun emplacements and with the sun rising the numerous noisy gulls were also starting to wake up.

Rounding Lighthouse Point I pass another of the island's gun emplacements and into the sheltered water at the East of the island.

The flood tide is still running so I paddle almost Northward to the isolated Monkstone Lighthouse which is built on a rocky reef that is only exposed around low water.

I reach the lighthouse round about slack water so I should have the ebbing tide in my favour as I paddle toward the Cardiff Spit Buoy.

Glancing behind me I notice the Beluga Endurance, a 138m long General Cargo Ship creeping up on me but she passes me at a much more comfortable distance.

It is just a matter of dot to dot between the buoys as I am first swept past the South Cardiff Cardinal Buoy and then the shiny new Lavernock Outfall Buoy. 

The tide takes me through Sully Sound and back to the slipway to end a circular trip of 11.8 nautical miles (13.5 miles or 22km). A good way to start another year's paddling and a very belated Happy New Year to anyone who takes the time to read this blog. My resolution to keep the blog updated regularly isn't doing too well, but I will keep trying!


Taran Tyla said...

Lovely sunrise pics, always the best time to paddle. Planning to go to monkstone myself soon, another day, another tick...

Richard said...

Very true, and the good thing about this time of the year is that you don't have to get up ridiculously early to catch the sunrise.