Saturday, 10 July 2010

Dinas Head 05/07/10

We headed on to Newport Sands for a day on the beach. The weather was much of the same and everyone was searching for their jumpers when they got out the car. The wind blew in from the West today and the beach was fully exposed kicking up more white horse and waves.

The kids didn't seem bothered by the cold wind. I sat on the beach with the family for a bit but I was eager to get out there. I paddled across the bay against tide and wind aiming for a cave in the shelter of the cliffs.
The aim was to paddle up toward the end of Dinas Head, check out the conditions and hopefully carry on around to Fishguard if it wasn't to rough. The sea here was a lot more settled except for the occasional down drafts off the enormous cliffs.

Once again there were plenty of caves to explore. I couldn't see the end of this one, there was a lot of wave action coming from inside the cave so didn't fancy carrying on into the black.

It was coming up to high water but the tide was flowing east until about 6pm. The current isn't to strong along this stretch of coast so I paddle along at ease.
There were more birds defending their chicks along the way.

And more caves...

I passed a group of Razorbills.

Then headed on to Needle Rock.

On the lower rocks were perched some Razorbills and Guillemots.

Looking across Newport Bay toward Cardigan.

Looking back on Needle Rock. This sight was pretty impressive. There were gulls circling around the point, almost looked like a scene from Jurassic Park. The photos don't do the size of the these rocks and cliff justice.

Nearing the head of Dinas Head.

At the head there is a double arch which goes straight through the head and out the other side.

It was too shallow to get through the one on the right.

The one on the left looked promising except for one large bolder which refused to hide with the incoming swell from the other side. It was the long way around for me.

Around the corner now there were few places to shelter from the westerly wind. The sea state became a little more alive now with waves coming side on. I paddle across each little bay heading for the east facing cliffs and caves for a moments rest.

There was a seal swimming in one cove. He stayed at a distance occasionally surfacing to see what I was up to.
The waves now were pretty steep, most of the journey around the head was spent 50% with my bow in the air and 50% underwater. At one point I think most of my boat cleared the water only to dive back down to consume it up to my waste bellow water.

I stop off at the first bay I find after rounding the head. My legs cease to work as I exit my boat. I ring the other half to assure her I'm still alive and I am shaking. This time I am glad to say from adrenaline not fear. I was buzzing I wanted to go around again.

I leave the bay with the ferry at Goodwick in sight, and with the water become increasingly more exposed to the wind and I find myself in some turbulent water in what looks like a rock minefield. There were sharp jugged rocks everywhere just surfacing above the swell. I didn't fancy rolling in this. Upon one rock stood a group of baby Shags something I have never seen. A bit to eventful to get my camera out though.

I stay inside any rocky island outcrops I come across attempting to take shelter. Some bays more sheltered than others, going from one extreme to the next. Makes you realise what forces the wind has on the sea.

As I reach this sheltered bay I notice a kayak tied to the rock face. I round the rocky outcrop that divides this sheltered beach and there is know one to be seen. Weird! Anyone Fancy a sit on top?

I reach Needle Rock (same name different rock) not far from where I paddled yesterday. For some reason there was a bit of swell here, it had been virtually non existent the rest of the journey. I was facing the sun so paddle around the other side to get a better shot of this picturesque arch.

No good the water was bouncing off all sides of this cove, this was the best one I got. Plenty of the sea and sky! A wave hit me side on coming over my left shoulder drowning my non waterproof camera. I managed to stay the right way up though that's and achievement!!

The screen on the camera was now completely blank, no worries though it later dried out and works fine now. It seemed to make my camera better as the colours in this picture are really vivid. Nearing Fishguard harbour now the sea state remained smooth just blustery.
It was another hard paddle into the wind to Fishguard Lower Town harbour where my lift awaited. Back to the club for a few more pints.

Next day I caught a shot of the Stena Line leaving for Ireland, I wouldn't want to be in a kayak in this boats path.
A total 8.72 nm or 16.15 km and a total time of nearly 4 hours. A bit longer than I thought but a lot of scenery and exploring to take in. Defiantly a trip I would recommend and one I'll do again.
Our little break ended on Wednesday as we left a very wet and windy Fishguard for home.

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