Sunday, 7 November 2010

Power of the Tide 06/11/10

It was mid afternoon, low spring tide at Sully Island. The tide was already in flood and flowing north east.

There was no plan, but it was going to be a one way trip. The tide was due to change about 19:00 well after sunset. It started to rain and was probably not going to be an exciting paddle but at least I was on the water, no better place to be!

I tread carefully down the beach trying not to slip or sink. Spot the mud? That isn't water in front of my boat!

Flat Holm was divided by a sand bank.

I made good progress averaging between 6 and 7 knots with the help of the tide. There was a little confused water around Lavernock Point (above). I had a little play turning in an eddy and trying to fight the tide, no chance it was too strong.

There was no question to which way the flow was going!

Under Penarth Pier my paddle blade were scraping the sea bed.

I ferry glided out from the pier and dropped onto the outer wrach buoy.

Cardiff barrage was alive with boats constantly coming out and going in. Oh and that's not water in front either! Nearly caught me out.

I paddled past the water outlets, that shows you how high up (or low down I was) the water is on the other side.

I was thinking about hopping over the barrage into the bay but it was a long climb up with the water so low.

Hannah wasn't ready to pick me up, to busy watching the rugby! So it was either sit on a muddy Penarth beach and await my lift or test the power of the tide.

It started to rain again, Flat and Steep Holm were disappearing under the weather. Progress past the pier was slow, averaging about 2.8kts, but it picked up again further along.

Flow was about 3.5/4hrs in now so was in full swing. Reaching Lavernock Point the flow was moving fast. I stayed close to the shore and went for it powering through the flow. That wasn't too hard!

In fact that was easy as I relax looking up ahead at Sully Island. I glance down at my GPS...2.5kts and increasing...backwards! "bugger!" I paddled my arse off and got to break even point 0 knots. I lifted my skeg and aimed slighty to the shore hoping for an eddy of sorts?? At last 0.8 knots, at least I'm moving in the right direction. Very slowly I made it closer and closer to the shore and my speed picked up.

Looking out to Flat Holm the rain had moved on. I crashed out on the back of my boat, exhausted!

The fight wasn't over I was still only managing around 1.8 to 2 knots. It was getting late and with the cloud cover, ever increasingly darker. My first night paddle maybe?

Finally I made it into Sully sound, I could walk it from here if I had to! The tide was ripping through the middle of the sound but was slow moving close to the mainland shore.

I was contemplating a play but I was shattered. I felt like I had done a massive paddle not Penarth and back.

At least the walk wasn't too far now.

Packing up the van the sky turned a reddish purple for a few small minutes as the sun was setting. Turned out to be a good paddle after all.


Richard said...

Great photos, they certainly are strong tides I did a similar paddle early Sunday but there was no way round Lavernock Point.

Stuart said...

Thanks Richard. I didn't expect to get around there myself. Hope this weather changes soon so I can get out an do a decent paddle, dark nights are winding me up.