Sunday, 25 March 2012

Seals On The North Coast

Sun rise at camp Porth Clais...
In the early hours of the morning Martin made the long journey down from Sheffield to join us.
The swells were still rolling in from the Irish Sea and the wind on the exposed south was still up.  The thought of paddling into a head wind all day in choppy conditions and a long crossing to the south of St Brides Bay was off putting.
Photo by Mike
So Martin drove us back up to Pwllgwaelod where we started from yesterday for a shorter paddle around Dinas Head in hopefully calmer conditions.  
We bumped into Mike of Mike Mayberry Kayaking who was doing some 3 star coaching, one of which was Gareth from the club (above).
While Mike, Gareth and co went south we went north around Dinas Head.
The last time I ventured around here I was in my early stages of kayaking, and the weather was a lot choppier.  Still one of my favorite paddles though.  The geology on this section is amazing.
A gentle but sizable swell was enough to provide a bit of rock hopping fun on the way.
The swell was a bit to much to take the narrow shortcut through the headland cave but we found plenty more on the other side to explore.  The tide wasn't this high last time and there wasn't much head room.
Looking back at the head of Dinas with cave underneath.
Taran and Martyn were off chatting in their own little world so I went to explore this cave, it goes way back and out another entrance but the tide was too high today. 
Around Needle Rock and we decided to cross over Newport Bay to the opposing headland, yet more headland chasing.
The southerly wind was whipping up across the bay making the 4km crossing onto the opposite side a long slog.
Reaching the towing cliffs on the other side we got stuck into a couple of chocy bars to get some energy back and went on the look out for Witches Cauldron, a huge collapsed cave.   
More spectacular geology.
Passing by a small bay we noticed the beach was full of seals.  A few were in the water and were showing some interest so I sat by and waited.
Within minutes there were loads around our boats, some letting curiosity get the better of them and get right up close.  An absolute nightmare to catch on camera mind, a bit like the game whack-a-mole.  
 Photo by Taran
As you can see there was always one watching you from behind in stealth mode.

He's right beside you!!
We checked the maps and decided to head back, we had a rough idea where the Cauldron was but it was a long way back.  With a little tidal assistance we made a faster crossing back.
Martyn in a rock gully with the swell breaking over the rocks.
Ladies watch out Ali G has got his hairy back out.
A great relaxing paddle in the sun, getting up close and personal with the scenery.  A nice contrast on yesterdays trip.  Good to catch up with Martyn, Mike and Gareth again.  A long drive down to Dale now for my van and then home to see the family.  What a great weekend.


51˚N Seakayaking said...

What a brilliant two days of paddling and as usual spot on narration and photography, made me feel I was there.


Frank said...


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Stuart said...

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