Saturday, 25 February 2012

Welcome Holm

I arrive at Penarth waterfront early.  Our destination, Flat Holm and Steep Holm, float in the early morning mist.  It feels like late spring, the sun is out and the sea is like a duck pond.  
Today myself and Eurion are welcoming Mike Mayberry and Steve Bunston from Pembrokeshire to our home turf, and what a perfect day for it.    
Eurion and Steve leaving Penarth
The tide are just coming out of springs and it's roughly mid flow, when it's at it strongest.  It was going to take a big ferry angle to make this one.
Eurion and Mike
We make steady progress into the flow, with a bit of a push I reckon Monkstone lighthouse could have been a possibility.
Our big sweep out into the channel has brought us directly above Flat Holm.  We stop for a short break making the most of the calm conditions.  
Back on the move we make a easy 6-7 knots dropping right on to the beach.
First steps on to Flat Holm for Mike and Steve.  We sit up on the beach for lunch and a coffee in the warmth of the sunshine.  Surley doesn't feel like the end of February.
The tide is flowing at some pace so we make a wide decent onto Steep Holm.

We land on the only beach on Steep Holm just over an hour before low water.
Mike and Steve are keen to explore so we hike up the steep path leading to the top of the island with impressive views over the channel.  
Steve poses with the WWII anti-aircraft gun for his new face book profile picture.  
The only bombs dropping today were from the gathering gulls.
View of the landing beach at low water.
Back on the water and we head clockwise around the island...
Mike and Steve under Rudder Rock.  
We keep to our steep bearing leaving Steep Holm passing a dredger mid crossing.  The wind picks up, and against the tide provides a lumpy return journey.
Progress is slow into the tide so I suggest slackening off the angle of approach and let the tide take us up to Penarth.  Even thought the tide will pick up, by the time we pass Lavernock outfall the tide should slacken off sheltered by the point.  
Sure enough the tide has little effect behind the shelter of Sully Island and Lavenock Point.
The sun dips lower in the sky as we make the last approach onto Penarth.
A perfect end to a perfect day.   15.15 nautical miles, roughly 6 hours in total.
It off to the Captains Wife for a few pints and to discuss more kayak related topics to the delight of Hannah and Shelley.  Another great paddle out to the Holms and great to meet up with Steve, Mike, Shelley and Eurion.


Mike said...

Great photos Stuart, nice to meet you guys, hopefully we'll see you again soon :)

Steve said...

Stuart, thanks for a great trip & an excellent blog :-)

Jules said...

Nice images again Stuart. Looked a great day out with a tidy team of kayakers.