Sunday, 27 May 2012

Irish Sea Crossing 2012

Over the coming weeks myself and a group of paddlers will be attempting to paddle from Pembrokeshire West Wales to Rosslare Ireland.  The unassisted crossing is over 50 miles and will take approximately 15 hours over open sea.  For this challenge we will be raising money for Ty-Hafan children's hospice in South Wales.

"Tŷ Hafan offers comfort, care and support to life-limited children, young people and their families helping them make the most of the time they have left together. For Tŷ Hafan to offer this unique service completely free of charge to families in Wales, it has to raise over £3 million every year".    

Please Donate here or texting via mobile phone KAYK50 £AMOUNT (£1/2/3/4/5/10) to 70070, eg. 'KAYAK50 £10' to 70070.

Thank you.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Sun, Sea & Headwinds!

This weekend we had arranged to paddle to Lundy Island.  One member of our group was feeling under the weather so we called it off for a paddle locally.  Turns out it was for the best as the sunny calm day we had in mind turned out to be quite a choppy one... 
Eurion, Adrian, Chris & Taran all set out from The Knap, Barry, while myself and Marcus set out from Gileston and hour later.
I was hoping to wear just a t-shirt today and it looked like the others did too, but with a strong head wind cags were quickly put back on.  Progress was slow and it seemed forever to reach the end of Gileston beach. 
Me and Taran decided to check out the forming waves further off the shoreline, a couple of stills here from a video I took...
Back as a group we pressed on into the wind toward Llantwit Major.
Arriving at the east side of Llantwit beach we spotted a bull seal sunning himself on his back in the shallows.  Enjoying himself far to much to notice us drift past.  I wounder if it's the same outcast bull I've seen here on a few occasions now, as we rarely get any seals this far up the channel.

We tuner into land on the west side of Llantwit beach for a well deserved break.
We didn't stop for long, with a chilly wind and damp dry-suite I wished I had more layers underneath.  
Chris decides to call it a day here and I don't blame him.  If I had paddled from the Knap I might have been tempted also, it was hard going.
We press on through Nash Passage.
The forecast comes through over the radio, force 3-4, 5 at times, not quite the forecast they gave earlier.
I have a little play in the waves lapping up in the shallows before surfing backwards and ending tits up with my head bouncing along the sand.

Past Witches Point, Southerndown and the cliff scenery is probably the best south east wales has to offer until you reach the Gower.
It's a final hard slog in to what seems to be a strengthening head wind.  It's now gone 6pm and the tide is due to turn anytime if not already.  Progress is painstakingly slow as people walk past us on the beach.
We finally make it onto the the beach at Ogmore with one hell of a carry up the beach, but that's nothing compared to the lonely carry Taran has to make to his camp spot for the night on the far side of the river.  A good paddle with good company but totally not what we were expecting from the earlier forecast.