Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Skiving Off At Tusker

 I should have been in work today, but issues with tools have meant I don't actually have much on until next week.  The heat wave continues to hold so I figured I could take at least one full day off this week and enjoy the weather while it lasts.  Low water was at 1345 so a trip down my local stretch to the tidal island of Tusker Rock sounded like the perfect trip.
Getting down to the water at Llantwit Major was made easy with my new trolley from Escape Watersports.
I was making good progress toward Nash Point making 5 knots without much effort.  Forecast was for a NE 3-4, 5 around headlands, slight sea, and sun, sun, sun.      
I headed out to pass East Nash cardinal buoy.
I flew past at speed over 6 knots.  When I looked down to check my GPS I noticed the Mid Nash cardinal marker waypoint from a trip a couple of weekends ago.  I couldn't make it out on the horizon it was too far offshore.  I carried on a short while before deciding to head out to find it.
At 6 knots I made the 3 nautical mile distance in half hour.  Paddling along the line of the sand bar so near low water was the most unnerving thing ever.  The water swirled in big pools of confused water ready to break as the sands revealed themselves.  From here I made for Tusker Rock closer to shore.
Crossing over the path of the sand bar again the waves created a good following sea to push me on to my target and into tranquil flat waters around Tusker Rock.  I landed on my usual spot leaving my boat just on the waters edge knowing it would be high and dry in half hour.
This is one of my favourite places to paddle and I can't help but explore the wreck and rock pools while I'm here.  Maybe it is because it was the destination for my very first trip in a kayak back in 2009, post here.  Back then I was armed with just a buoyancy aid, paddle and spray deck.  Now the list of equipment is endless.    
The purple corals were really vivid in the sun.
A Tusker crab.
Propeller off the SS Steepholm dredger.
The rock pools were alive with small fish, crabs and hermit crabs.  This one was eating a dead jelly fish.
Perfect spot for lunch, just me on my own little island while people line the beaches of Ogmore in the distance.
Low water and I was on my way, this time I was going to hug the coast.
 It was nice to paddle past Southerndown without the danger of getting side swiped by the surf.
Enjoying the sun :-)
I normally take in a landing on Nash sandbank on the return leg but an hour after low water on a small tidal height and all that remains is waves breaking on the surface.  Passing the buoy again I wasn't taking photos this time as big waves broke while I travelled at almost 8 knots.  A good strong headwind gust around the point also.
 The second Nash light.
There were various flybys from the 75th anniversary of the Air Force being at St Athan on the approach to Llantwit Major.
When I got home Zakk kindly helped me with my kit carrying it to the house.
A fantastic day on the water, really glad I took the day off.  What's the point in working for yourself if you can't take a day off now and then.  16.74 nautical miles/31 kilometres, moving average 4.8 knots

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