Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve on Flat Holm

5.30am on Christmas Eve and it's time to get my boat on the van and meet up with Taran at Sully. We've both wanted to do this trip since we've had snow but it's been put off due to work, weather etc.
We set off under a full moon lit sky about an hour before high water.

The sky to the east quickly brightens up as we are well on our way.

With nearly a 12m tide we are quickly dragged up the channel past the Wolves buoy.
We speedily approach Flat Holm with little effort.

The water line is way beyond the beach and is nearly breaking over the wall on the slipway. We both gracefully slice a layer of plastic off our boats on the cheese grater of a ramp!

The sun was still down bellow a strip of cloud stretching just above the horizon and the moon was still bright in the sky above Aberthaw chimney.

We take a walk over to the light house where the sun just peaks over the cloud in a delayed sunrise.

Pity I missed the top of the light house in this panoramic shot. At this point I had lost all feeling in my feet.

I would quite happily convert this world war two look out post into a home and look out to this view every morning, even if it is on the small side.
We carried on past the farm house greeted by some of the islands resident animals.

Cardiff skyline lights up in the distance.

Back on the water we play about in the flow driving through castle rock and this time manage to get back around for another go. My hands and feet were in some serious pain by now.

Another 40mins and we were back at Sully Island.

In the calm around Sully Sound I decide to test out my new piece of kit. After reading an article in Ocean Paddler magazine I decided to rig together this Inuit looking hand line for fishing. The idea of a multi day trip, camping in the wilds cooking up fresh fish on a drift wood fire sounds like heaven.

Woohoo I caught some sea weed! As you may have gathered I have never fished in my life. In fact I only started eating fish a few months ago. A few more goes and I end up snagging my ball weight on the sea bed and loosing it.

We make another lap around Sully Island taking in some rock hopping further peeling back the layers off our hulls before landing back on the beach.
An absolute perfect day to possibly end this years paddling, but I doubt it still a few days left yet. I'm now off to hang my 17ft stocking in the hope Santa will bring me a nice Alaw Bach or something similar (can only wish). MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!


eurion said...

17ft stocking, ROFL!
Was thinking of you going out there today-must have been mentally cold at that time with no sun! I managed to get on the water by 11am- it was -4 in the garden but seemed so much warmer on the water . . . to start with. What a place to be to see the sun rise.

Taran Tyla said...

Only 17 foot stocking? If santa try's to bring you an 18 footer your stuffed...

stoney (Martyn) said...

Nice one dude, I'd have been there if I was nearer!
Still hoping for a New Years Day trip in Pembrokeshire, but have seen varying wind forecasts so need to keep an eye out. Have a good un, Merry Christmas to you all.

Stuart said...

Thanks everyone.

Eurion - Once on the water it was fine it was only when we wondered about on the island that I froze. Had to get my hands wet on an akward launch though and it took a while to warm up again. All worth it though. Look forward to your post if you do one.

Taran - No such luck, can always use the stocking as a sleeping bag!

Stoney - Wind have been up and down lately, more up than down out west. Looks promising for the weekend though. Think they missed the worst of the snow as well. Glad to see you didn't sell your boat then! Was hoping to get out west before the years end while i'm off work, will have to see.

stoney (Martyn) said...

I think you'd be welcolme on Friday, but I think it means leaving family to them selves? Either that or they're all hard as nails!

Stuart said...

Thanks Martyn I've got to be at a party Friday. Are you still there on the Sunday?

stoney (Martyn) said...

I will be there at the latest Sunday morning, need to get back to the wife and kids!
W should get together for a paddle in 2011 though!

Stuart said...

No worries I can't make it this weekend at all now anyway. Defo just pop me a mail when you plan a trip down. I want to get up to Anglesey at some point this coming year also. Enjoy this weekend, happy new year!