Sunday, 11 March 2012

Kayakers In The Mist

I reluctantly had to turn down a an invite for a trip around the Isle of Wight with Eurion and company.  But with the weather looking so promising I had to make an effort to get out on the water locally.  Practically no wind, minimal swell and the early morning mist forecast to clear up into a bright sunny day.
I meet up with Jules and Taran around four hours before low water, springs.  The plan is simply to head west with the ebb.  I had it in mind that I wanted to get out to some of the off shore buoys when the mist clears.
We make the most of the tide being high and explore the caves around Tressilian Bay.

Back out on the water we handrail the shore, the mist showing no sign of clearing, if anything it got worse.
Witches Point, Porthcawl rises out of the white mist.  I think we were all anticipating a bit of surf.
We were disappointed to find barely a couple of feet of surf so we make a landing and have lunch.  Visibility is becoming worse, if it wasn't for the GPS we wouldn't know what beach we were on.
I wanted to get us out to Tucker Rock some two and half nautical miles off shore from our current location, so I take a bearing and lead the way into the white out. 
Half hour later the sound of waves washing up on shore becomes clearer but it's not until we were about 100m off Tusker that a dark line comes into view.  
First landing for Jules so we take some time out to explore the wreckage.

Normally there would be a great view out here from Porthcawl to Nash Point, today however the other side of the rock was out of sight.
Jules contemplating a leap to the boiler.  
Not soon as we were back on the water a bull grey seal pops up behind Taran.  We sit in silence for a few minutes as curiosity gets the better of him.  It's quite rare to see a seal out this far east.
We take another bearing and head for the sound of crashing waves offshore to Nash Sand Bar. 
It's always a pleasure to land in this surreal place.  It's not every day you get to walk along the sea bed on freshly laid golden sand so far offshore.  
We follow the sands until they come to an abrupt end.  There's no barrier stopping the waves now and the fast flowing tide creates a strong current sucking us back toward them.  Quite unnerving when you can't see land!  Nash East Cardinal Buoy comes in to view so we decide to make a dash for it.  Unknowing to us we make a circle around the buoy paddling into the flow.  This mist is so disorientating.  
We follow the route taken on the way out via our GPS track.  Large waves come into view signaling Llantwit reef.  We land on the sands not entirely sure how far up the beach we are.  We ask a couple of fishers just to make sure before hauling the boats up the beach.
16.21 nautical miles in total (30km) and the mist did clear....when we were loading the kayaks!  Not what I expected from today but it goes to show one trip is never the same twice.  Great practice for the navigation in good conditions and in all a good day on the water.


eurion said...

I think the mist added to that trio - especially the pics on Tusker.

51˚N Seakayaking said...

Very atmospheric Stu, haven't been to Tusker yet looks interesting.

Taran Tyla said...

Why does the first pic look like Jules is getting ready to spank someone with his paddle blades???