Saturday, 13 March 2010

Flat Holm

Launching from Penarth with flat holm and steep holm in the distance
I've felt a little bit apprehensive for a while about doing
this trip. The thought of leaving the safety of the shoreline
behind and paddling into the full flow of the tidal stream
seemed a bit daunting. I couldn't have asked for better
conditions though! I left Penarth at 10:30am, low tide at
11:50 on the island.

I did my maths last night and stuck to the plan and made
a heading of 128 degrees simply to see if it would work.
Even though my kayak never pointed in the direction of
the island I made a perfect beeline.

Pausing for only a minute when Hannah (my wife) phoned
me, my boat headed backward into the flow of the current
at 1.5kts. This doesn't seem like much but when your
watching your position go off course on your GPS you realise
what your up against.

I reached Flat Holm spot on time at 11:20am. So ferry
gliding does work after all!

Having never been in this position I wasn't sure which
way to go around the island. Does it make a difference?
Maybe I'm thinking to much into this.

Steepholm in the distance

Because the tide was fully out I could navigate though the
shallow rock pools.

But everything was so far away. There are goats in this
picture honest.

The farm houses

Calculations for the return trip

Castle rock looking very different than it did in Richards
trip last week. No playing with the fast water flowing
through this gap for me!

Having gone around the island I landed near the jetti.

I had a bit of lunch on the beach and had a little wander
around the cliffs. Looks like some good climbs here and
I bet no one has done them! Although I get a feeling
your probably not allowed.

Victorian cannon

After a quick half hour I left before the tide picked up.
The tide was stronger on the way back and I made good
progress at 5kts. My GPS seemed to be playing up and was
pointing me more toward sully than Penarth.

Looking off the back of my boat toward flat holm

Arriving back at Penarth
Looking back at the two islands
On my return journey when I reached the wolves I felt my
ferry glide angle was a bit steep and I was veering off course.
I made a new course toward Lavernock point. It was only
when I looked back on my GPS that the current had carried
me out in a big curve. A total of nearly 9nm and home in
time for the rugby, although wish I never bothered! A really
good trip, will do that again soon, maybe include Steep Holm
next time.


Richard said...

Nice one Stuart looks like you had a great paddle, good post too. I bet you had a good feeling of achievement after this trip, well done again.

Stuart said...

Thanks Richard. Yes was an amazing day, wanted to get out there for ages. Lets hope we get more weather like this, it made for a really enjoyable paddle.

Mick said...

Hey man, cool, I just had a look at this one. Let me sort out those few bits on my craft and I'll definitely do the next trip to the Holm with you.