Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Most Southerly Point

Strong winds have prevented any sort of paddling for some time, not that I had a choice with a bandaged finger.  Suppose it couldn't have happened at a better time paddling wise.
This was Nash Point a couple of weeks ago when I went to cut the grass for the lighthouse.  Not the worse I've seen it down there but still I don't think any paddling would have been advisable.

Last weekend I took Connor for a walk down the coastal path from Llantwit Major to Nash Point and back.  I have never seen so much foam on the beaches, testament to the rough weather.
It's been all change most of this week with gorgeous sunny weather and lesser winds.  I had to make the most of the weather with work and it's been low tide in the afternoons, so I planning to get out to Pembrokeshire this weekend.  Forecast was variable depending which site you used but was between F4-5 Northerly.  Tides were all wrong for what I intended anyway and I didn't want to chance wasting the petrol.  So I ended up at Penarth slipway at 0910 for a journey along my home stretch (again!!).  I dropped my van off at Llantwit Major and had a lift off Hannah to Penarth.
Sea state was rather lumpy at Penarth open to the North Easterly winds, quite different to Llantwit Major.  I knew it would flatten out once I rounded Lavernock Point, after all I was in the mood for a relaxing paddle to get me back into the swing of things.  Rounding Lavernock Point at around 7kts I had some nice chunky following waves to push me on to the red cliffs at Sully causeway.
Reaching Barry harbour I took a little tour inside the harbour walls, the Barry lifeboat looked like it was getting ready to launch possibly for some training. 
Passing by Barry Island, the Knap and the cliffs near Porthkerry I stop for lunch near Rhoose Point.  Crouching down to eat my Peters pasty I noticed a very clear Ammonite fossil protruding from the rock.  Then another even better, there where hundreds of them.
Very small, about 2 inches wide, the barnacle in the lower picture gives you an idea of size complete with what looks like the fossilize innards of the prehistoric creature.
These Ammonites embedded in the Jurassic limestone of the heritage coast were thriving during the Jurassic period some 200mya.
These clam and oyster shell fragments can be found on almost every boulder along this coast.
Moving on I spot what looks like a fresh fall, very clean stone and the bushes are still at the bottom of the cliff where they landed.
With only Aberthaw Power Station on the shore I head further out and aim for the water intake tower off Gilestone beach.  I do 9.8kts with barely a paddle in the water as I take pictures.
I use the flow to carry me straight to Llantwit Major three and half nautical miles away in just half hour.  The yellow limestone cliffs bleed out in front to Nash Point lighthouse on the horizon.
I land at Llantwit beach three and half hours after setting off with a long carry up the beach ahead of me.  The wind gust up during the last 10 mins and as I make my way home it starts to spit with rain, perfect timing.  On to the cinema now to take Connor (but mainly me) for more swash buckling adventures with Pirates of the Caribbean. 
15.21 nautical miles of a same old same old sort of trip but just glad to have been back on the water.


eurion said...

Nice trip Stuart. Glad your finger is now paddle fit.
Thought you were going to say that the Barry lifeboat was getting ready to rescue you . . . :)

Taran Tyla said...

Fab trip, about time you got off your arse :)

Anonymous said...

This blogger winding me up,. so temperamental, can't comment on my own blog!!!

No not this time Eurion :) looked like they went on to follow a huge ferry out in the channel.

You can talk Taran, get off your arse and get around Wales will you! :)