Saturday, 15 September 2012

Here I Go Again On My Own...

Another very brief spell of high pressure meant I was able to get out for a quick paddle this weekend.  A front was due to come in around 1300 bringing strong winds.  For now the forecast was force 3-4 slight in the east, veering 5-6 becoming moderate.  Another drab looking day however.
First school boy error, I took the tide times from the wrong tidal port and I was rushed and a bit behind time.  I arrived at Llantwit Major about 1.5hrs before low water.
So far the forecast was correct, slight and a bit of a head wind.  I got a little bit anxious here, should I go on knowing the conditions are going to deteriorate.
To late I was rounding Nash Point, no turning back from here even if I wanted too.  I figured the wind will be with the tide on the return journey so even if it did whip up it would be on my back.
And there's always plenty of beach to escape too, mind you I wouldn't fancy the walk.
Witches Point, Southerndown half hour before low water.  I decide to take my lunch here on the more secluded east side of the head.

I went off to explore the caves up on the cliffs.
Small crab.
First cave, great view from up here.
Second cave a bit bigger.
The rock here has been worn smooth and almost looks like it's flowing.
I sit under the overhanging cliff with my lunch looking out over the Bristol Channel to the north coast of Somerset and Devon.

Retracing my steps back on the water the wind and tide pushes me nicely along.  Nash Sand bar is clearly visible and with no sign of the wind picking up I venture out. 
Never feels quite safe standing on what was once the sea bed only an hour ago, but a privilege only us kayakers can enjoy.
The sea swirls and breaks as it brushes up against the shallows of the sand.  Back on the water and my speed drastically rises as I'm taken past the end of the bar....   
7.7 knots the top speed for today.
 The wind does pick up and the swells rise as always around the tip of Nash Point.  It's a good following sea all the way back to Llantwit Major.
Only a short paddle today but a long walk back to the car park.  10.52 nautical miles/19.5km, 4.4kts average and 2:27 hrs total time.

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