Sunday, 10 April 2011

A Perfect Sunny Sunday Afternoon

Back on home waters the plan was to simply paddle out on the last two hours of the ebb to Steep Holm and return on the commencing flood.  Forecast looked good, mid way between spring and neap tides.  I met up with Taran at the busy Penarth waterfront.
Straight on the water and I cool down with a quick role, it seems summer has already arrived.  Traffic jams, no parking, beaches flooded with sun seekers and waters crammed with speed boats.  I couldn't wait to get far out in the channel.
Taran mentioned how he almost went to Monkstone the other day and peering out at the loan structure it looked tempting to try.  We paddled out to the Cardiff shipping buoy, progress was slow paddling almost directly into the flow.
As we made our way further out we noticed a dark band just under the horizon, Cardiff ground maybe. 
We made an unexpected landing on Cardiff grounds.
A further 20 minute paddle in mirror like seas and a final push against the flow of the tide brought us under the towering Monskstone lighthouse.
There was just enough rock exposed to make a landing.  I never thought I would get out here at low water, especially from Penarth.  This is turning out to be a brilliant paddle.
The tide was still ebbing at a strong pace.
Where's Taran got too? I'm sure I saw him land behind me...
Half way up the tower!
The remains of a previous light? Foundations used in the build? who knows.
These little Turnstones weren't bothered by our presence, they had found the perfect little feeding ground.
Back into the flow we headed on to our original destination.

We were calling it close getting to Steep Holm before the tide turned.
Landing at a different place to usual gave us the opportunity to access the upper heights of the island without clambering an iron gate.  We didn't venture far though with the boats precariously balanced on two rocks just above the rising waters.
With the turn of the tide we made our way around Rudder Rock and on to our forth destination, Flat Holm.
The waters were unbelievably calm, playing with the eye, unable to make out where the water ended and where the sky began.  Small creases in the otherwise flat water pushed us along in sets of three or four unnaturally steep waves in the silk like surface.
Sounds of music echoed across the water probably from Weston Super Mare.  How nice it was being out here in the peacefulness of nature away from all the madness.
Taran was forever practising his edging...
Woops too far....sorry Taran I had to take a picture.  Perfect re-entry however.

We made another short stop this time on Flat Holm, if only so Taran could empty his boat.  A quick play in the small race of the west corner of the island, obviously nothing compared to my last visit, before making our way back to Penarth.
And as if this trip couldn't get any better the sun started to set...absolutely perfect.

We parted our separate ways just before landing, my van being half way up the hill.  Penarth lifeboat were just launching as I hauled my boat up the jeti.  I had a quick chat with one of the crew, apologising for calling them out a couple of weeks ago.
14.30 nautical miles in total.  A totally unexpected start to the trip made this one a trip to remember.  Absolutely perfect day on the water.


Taran Tyla said...

Was a bit special that trip, how the hell we gonna top that, Brean Down perhaps?

Dr Blug said...

Great write up and pictures, Stuart.
Have you been out with Eurion Brown yet?
Mike B

Stuart said...

Hi Mike, thanks it was a perfect day for it. No I haven't been out with him yet only spoken between blogs. Just came on here to go back through your blog again actually, I'm torn between cove and bead and straight strips. absolute nightmare this is!

tomphysics said...

Just found this blog, very interesting. We paddle surf skis around Rhoose, Aberthaw and Barry several times a week, and think I may have seen you out a few times.
There's also the rhoose ski race on May 15th if you would be interested??

Stuart said...

Thanks Tom. I saw a couple of those things down at Rhoose yesterday was wondering what they were, thought they might be some kind of racing boat. I may have to paddle past on the 15th and take some pics, sounds to much like hard work though racing.

tomphysics said...

Might see you there then. The course starts in Fontygary, down just before Rhoose point then to Aberthaw and back. It was paddling around the Aberthaw caisson on Monday that gave me the urge to look at going further into the channel sometime. Any tips on where to start?