Sunday, 7 August 2011

Blustery Day To Be Paddling Skomer

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. 
 We headed out anyway with hoods donned in to the wind and rain, there's no harm in looking.
 Normally I would bin photo's with splashes on the lens but it was inevitable today. 
Crossing Jack Sound it was a little lumpy but nothing drastic, the tide had been running north for about 45 mins at this point.  We pass an Australian sailing boat on the way through, I wouldn't like to be navigating through there in a boat.
We passed through Little Sound on the far side of Midland Isle for a wee look at the conditions on the southern side of the island.  Well they were 'swell'!
We decided to turn back, more for the fact that Jack Sound would be picking up a bit of pace now and in these conditions it could get a little on the risky side.
Thanks to 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.
No one home.  The burrows are all empty now and the Puffins have probably all but migrated.  Completely missed the breeding season this year.
 With no swell on the northern side of Skomer Taran takes the opportunity to get up close to the cliffs.
While I try to make friends with a seal.  Very tempted to get close this one.  Still yet to have one come up on my deck.
Continuing on we spot three stragglers rafted up together, the slight swell has hidden the other two.  That'll probably be the last Puffin sighting this year. 
We paddle on into North Haven, it's unusually quite with hardly any bird or seal life about.  It then back onward to Jack Sound, the state of the sound forever playing on both our minds.  We managed to spot the waves from quite far back, the nerves were running.
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.


Taran Tyla said...

A fab day out & good adrenaline rush :)

Should of popped your roll on for a critique, might help?

stoney (Martyn) said...

Mmm, glad I didn't travel down to meet up for this one, always good to get out though.
I'll try and get my posts up soon!

GRP Lining Services. said...

What's the issue with the roll? Yours looks sweet and fast. btw, liking your dragon on the bow, should see my hull decor!