Friday, 15 April 2011

After A Hard Week's Graft.... 15-04-2011

.....there is nothing better than a late afternoon/early evening paddle in the Nordkapp to wash away those work blues! So in less than an hour after leaving work I was paddling out from the slipway at Sully YC out into the Bristol Channel hopefully out to Steep Holm.

There was a layer of mist just above sea level as I paddle Southward hopefully letting the last of the flooding tide take me past Flat Holm and out to Steep Holm.

I had to slow my paddling stroke to let the Magnus F, a 147m long container ship pass as she makes her way to Antwerp.

The mist cleared as I approached Steep Holm. I was going to paddle around the South of the island first but on reaching Rudder Rock the flood tide was still flowing quickly so I let it take me Eastward along the North facing cliffs.

The tide shot me along the North side of Steep Holm under one of the Island's many gun emplacements and searchlight posts.

I stop under the now derelict inn by the island's landing jetty and try and photograph a couple of the island's Shelducks but they are far too wary to get close to.

Paddling along the not so steep South facing cliffs I pass 2 more of Steep Holm's emplacements more evidence of the island's military past dating back to the Victorian era. 

Reaching Rudder Rock again the flood tide has eased off though I think I will still have to ferry glide part of the way across to Flat Holm.

Looking Eastward as I begin my paddle to Flat Holm there is still a layer of mist covering the English Coast with only the headlands of Brean Down and Anchor Head visible above it.

Nearing Flat Holm I have to adjust my angle of approach as the tide is beginning to ebb, there wasn't much slack water, if any.

Reaching Flat Holm I shelter in the calm water at Lighthouse Point before I begin my paddle back to the South Wales mainland as the wind has increased slightly.

The ebbing tide is starting to pick up speed as I paddle through the small gap between Castle Rock and the Island.

The paddle back is very quick aided by the ever increasing ebbing tide and I am soon approaching Sully Island and through Sully Sound where small standing waves are beginning to form over the causeway between the Island and the Mainland.

I thought I might get a better sunset but a mass of black cloud spoilt it.  A brisk paddle of 13 nautical miles, 3.5 hours, just right to get a stressful weeks' work out of the system.

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