Sunday, 5 February 2012

Llantwit to Southerndown

Today looked like a promising paddle, slight winds, minimal surf and the sun was out.  We meet up at Llantwit Major about an hour and half before low water with the intention to make as much ground up before the tide turned.  I managed to convince Eurion to join us despite a case of man-flu along with Andy, Taran and Jules
Four boats lined up along the waters edge, Andy was delayed, there had been snow up the valleys.  Andy finally arrived but it was going to be a struggle to get around Nash Point with only half hour left to spare before the tide turned.
We make our way out through the small surf and push on toward Nash.
The St Donnats life boat was out and about seeming to be running through some sort of drill around the Nash Buoy.  Probably thought we were pushing our luck to get around there.
The swell grew as we made our way further west and I was beginning to think the 2ft surf forecast for Southerndown may be a little bigger.
The sound of crashing waves was with us for the journey.
We fight to get around Nash point, the tide so evidently against us.  A long slog in confused water breaks off and we head in to land for a well earned rest.
All refuelled we decided to push on and see if we can make Southourndown, the tide shouldn't be that strong from here on.
Out in the depths the water is glassy so we hug the shore for a bit of action in the surf.  As usual Taran had to push it that little bit closer.
Inevitably it had to happen some time.  A big breaker comes in I make it over the lip in time to turn my head around and see Taran and Andy tits up in the surf.  I love the picture above, Taran and Andy fighting with the waves while Eurion sits back and takes a few snaps, we had a good chuckle.
We push on the swell getting really big now.
Really big...Eurion and Jules paddle ahead while I think they can't seriously be thinking of landing in that.  Luckily they back paddled and withdrew from the huge breakers.
Then to my horror went back in.  My heart beats like mad as I watch a massive wave pass under me and roar out in-front of me knowing there's one lining up just behind.  It picks me up and throws me into a mass of white water.  The high brace works well and I even get the confidence to stick one hand in the air in the excitement of it all.
Images courtesy of Eurion.

But it wasn't long before we had to face the music and head back out.  Eurion goes off first then Jules, both take a pounding, being pushed back by the waves.

My heart is pounding once more but I couldn't have timed each wave more perfectly, catapulting through each one just on the brink of collapse.  All in the luck really.
We make fast progress all the way back, watching in awe as the ship sized waves break over the sand bank.
Downhill all the way home.
The surf back at Llantwit was nothing compared what we encountered at Southerndown and we make an easy landing back on the sands.
It turned out to be another fantastic day on the water all in great company.


Water Rat said...

You guys are crazy! Really enjoy your posts..I just came back from a 6 hour paddle on Folsom Lake in California, flat water except for a few boat wakes .. boy am I beat, but feel like a wimp after reading about your day.

Stuart said...

I wasn't expecting it to be that big to be honest. The forecast was for 2ft surf. All good learning though although I'd be quite happy not doing it again. Thanks for reading.

Jules said...

Excellent piccies Stuart - also love the ones Eurion took of you landing at Southerndown -your white boat is well disguised in all that whitewater! Fab day.