Sunday, 21 August 2011

Glam Boaters Weekend


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.
The sea state of the sea looked much more slight up here, still gusty but much flatter.  Dinas Head was barely visible through the rain and low cloud.  The group consisted mainly of novices some not yet ventured out on to the sea before today.  The plan was to head along the cliffs of Dinas Head taking in some caves and rock hopping.
We launched from Parrog, which previously served as an active port which supported the shipbuilding industry during the 19th Century.   The old port dries out at low water but it is possible to paddle or walk your boat up through the shallow stream.
 There was a mix of sea boats and shorter river boats, Richard here is in Tarans old Piranha.
Before long we were at the foot of the cliffs making use of the swelling conditions.  Andrew the club founder and coach teamed me and Taran up with a group each to lead through the caves and rocks. 
Taran who is currently doing his coaching qualifications and in the process of starting a kayaking tours business was more at home with this.  I don't think I am one of those people who are 'leaders', I wouldn't say I was one who 'follows' either.  I just like to get on with my own thing.  Don't get me wrong, I love helping out help out I'm just not a very vocal person. 
Before long the decision is made to turn back, which was a shame as this has to be one of my favorite trips rounding Dinas Head. 
We land on a small shingle beach for some lunch and take a rest.
Nearing what is now a wide expansive beach the surf could be seen from quite a distance.  On the approach the surf looked quite big with the wind whipping off the tops of the crests.  I was one of the first to make my way in, mainly to get it over with and so there wouldn't be anyone on the beach watching me when I go tits up.  Anyone who's read my blog before knows I'm not a fan of surf.
I wasn't alone, most paddles have never paddled on the sea yet alone landed in surf.  Even through the waves were quite big it wasn't as bad as it looked.  Everyone managed to make it through unscathed simply letting the waves pass under the boats.
In fact we all enjoyed it so much we all spent the next hour playing in the waves.  
Everyone drags their boats in on the beach as a rainbow appears above their heads.  We're all exhausted by now.
It's a long walk back to the cars but shortened some what by the stream for the final leg.


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.
We take the group around Black Rock that marks the entrance to the harbour and under the cliff on the far side of the harbour out of the wind.  I was hoping we would at least get the group out to the Scars or even just around the corner and through the arch we visited a couple of weeks ago.
It was decided it was best not to risk an all in rescue with so many novices so we pondered around the harbour in an out of the caves before landing on the pebble beach at the far end. 
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.


stoney (Martyn) said...

What is it with the wind this year?
Looks like you had some fun though.
I've said it before and I'll continue to say it.....I wish I was closer to the sea!

Taran Tyla said...

Glam Who??? Oh, you remembered what club your in then.

Nice arse in the first pic! Trying to get my best side? ;D