Monday, 19 April 2010

Flat Holm Island 18/04/10

Mick an myself headed out from Penarth slipway an hour
before low tide for Flat Holm Island. It was spring tide so
I knew we were in for a bit of a ride. Forecast was force 1/2
3 later. This was Micks first proper trip. It was a bit hazy
today, only the top half of the island in view.


We passed wolfs south cardinal buoy in good time as we made
a steady 4.5 kts. A little to close however, I would have preferred
to have been a little further north at this point.
We reached Flat Holm in spot on an hour and made our way
clockwise around the island.

No chance of taking the short cut through here today. I
attempted to get close to see if there was a way through
but got beached on a rock, good job I got a plastic boat!

Steep Holm in the distance.

The southerly wind hit us head on around the south of the
island. There were a few good races and standing waves
for us to contend with, but all good fun.

We landed by the slipway and stopped for a wonder.

Looking down the south west corner.

The sea gulls were going absolutely nuts and they were
everywhere, it was like a scene out of the horror film 'Birds'.

I nearly lost an eye taking this shot! I managed to avoid
getting crapped on though, Mick wasn't so lucky. They seemed
to take a disliking to his hat and jacket!

Victorian Cannon nicely painted by the birds.

We explored these WW2 barracks? or ammo stores??

It was pitch black inside so I took this shot with my flash
to give a view down this corridor. Mick found a torch so
we headed on down in the dark.

I hope this is a fake! Either way not a nice thing to find in a dark
underground bunker on a island!

Mick exploring a WW2 generator shed enclosed in a gun battery.

We left Flat Holm about 5:30 the spring tides now in full
flow. As we left the shelter of the cove the now force 3 wind
whipped around the island making it very difficult to lift our
paddles.

As we made our way slowly back we were passed by the Bay
Island Voyages boat. Struggling on, the boat came back to ask
if we were OK. Must have thought we were nuts. As we chatted
we were doing 3.5kts with the current. He offered us a lift as
he thought we would end up in Newport with this current.
For a moment I doubted myself and increased our angle of
attack. We were rarely doing over 2kts as we pushed into the
oncoming current. I thought to myself this isn't right we should
be using the current to aid our journey back. Almost back at the
Wolf's buoy I decided to trust in my calculations and lessened
our angle. Our speed almost instantly tripled making steady
progress back to Penarth.
We landed back at Penarth at the end of our 9.5nm trip in
1 hour 15mins, bearing in mind we probably spent 15mins
talking to the guys on the boat. In all quite an eventfull trip,
one i'm sure Mick enjoyed and will remember!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stu, no more doubts about your calculations next time. I can still feel the strenght of the current in my right hand wrist. I should definitely improve on my paddling technique. Cheers for this trip mate, I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to next one! Mick

Stuart said...

It's all good experience. It was a really good day thanks Mick.