After a weekend break with my wife Hannah in London for both our birthdays, I was far to tired to work the bank holiday. So I took the day off (for a change) and joined Taran, Scott and his dad Haydon for a late afternoon paddle from Llantwit Major to the Knap Barry.
Monday, 29 August 2011
Sunday, 21 August 2011
SATURDAY 20th AUGUST
I haven't been to the club for quite some time now but I decided to join up with Taran and the rest of the gang in Pembrokeshire. I arrived at Newgale camp site early Saturday morning, it was wet and windy, typical Glam Boaters trip weather. There was a strong southerly force 5-6 wind blowing so the decision was made to head on up to Newport sands out of the face of the wind.
SUNDAY 21st AUGUST
Another day and the sun is out and the conditions seem to have lightened a little, F3-4 south westerly. We make our way to Solva where it is buzzing with people and kayaks. The wind blows up the narrow harbour channel which doesn't vouch much for the conditions on the other side.
Big swells and blowing winds at the mouth of the harbour. After a look into the caves inside the protection of the natural harbour I was quite looking forward to the tasty conditions.
I was itching to get out an do some paddling so I ventured out of the harbour and around the cliffs to either side of the entrance while the group sat and had some lunch on the beach. I was tempted top paddle back to the camp site at Newgale on my own but didn't fancy the surf landing. Oh well Scotland to the Isle of Skye in a couple of weeks so I'm sure I'll get enough paddling done then.
Sunday, 7 August 2011
Morning arrived and the outlook looked grim. It was already spitting with rain and a scramble up the embankment to catch the forecast on the VHF reveals more of the same. Westerly force 5 to 6, Occasionally F7 , F4 for a time, squally showers, sea state moderate becoming rough. Not really the weather to be exploring the western reaches of Skomer Island.
Taran for this picy. It was great fun riding the waves back but the weather seems to lighten up a bit by the time we reached Little Sound.
We make it through unscathed, although I'm pretty sure I may have been over if I was in my Easky. It brought back memories of my first experience of the Bitches. The waves look bad enough then as Taran paddles in up front you realise just how big they actually are. I took a video but as I was ferry gliding most of the action was behind the camera.
Not a very long paddle so we stick around Martins Haven for some rolling practice.
As you can guess I didn't come up. I also had a hard job getting back in, I remember Martin mention his new boat was a bugger to get in. The bow and stern are so thin and long on these Tahe's! Since then I've been in a rolling rut, I haven't managed a single one! I have managed a few clambers on deck though.
Back in the van and dried up we make for home after a fantastic weekend on the water.
Saturday, 6 August 2011
After Taran's speciality chili from a tin we packed up the van and parked up on the other side of St Brides Bay at Martins Haven. To see Skomer Island and it's neighbour Skokholm you need to take a short walk up the hill that blocks the view from the car park.
Wild horses looking out to St Brides Bay and Stack Rocks beyond.
Skomer Island center and Ramsey Island in the distance to the left from Wooltack Point
The Bishops on the horizon
Skomer Island with Mew Stone as the sun sets on the horizon over cows grazing on top of Wooltack Point
The sun remained hidden until it kissed the horizon, I don't think I have ever seen the sun so big. We headed back to the van to plan the mornings outings...
We awake to gulls noisily fighting it out over the harbour and a lone white egret fishing in the shallows. Taran puts the porridge on the hob while we wait for Martyn and his dad to arrive. It's nearing high water as we set off but due to the complexity of the tides the water will be running north through Ramsey sound for about another five hours or so. The aim was to take our time, explore this rugged stretch of coat line between Solva and St Davids and paddle up through the sound and end at Porthselle where Martyn and his family were camped.
Optimus Taran! Taran tries out his new waterproof camera bag, the resulting shot shown bellow.
Heading toward Carreg yr Esgob another small rock out crop, I'm more interested in the black clouds looming behind.
Trying to get some sort of scale of the size of this cave.
Me and Taran take up the offer for a lift back to the van rather than paddle back to save the arms. I believe Martyn forgot to mention the carry up the steep cliff to the caravan though! A nice warm cuppa to comfort our damp acing muscles (can't believe it's summer!!) and then it's back to the van for Tarans speciality chili and rice and another warm brew.