Sunday, 24 August 2014

Seeking the Wolf

After my Greenland rolling course with Kayak Ways it seems I spent the most of July and August making paddles and practising rolling at my local bays.  I was still without a waterproof camera so we now skip forward to the end of August... 
Meeting up with Elan the plan was as follows; use the ebb to take us down onto Flatholm but attempt a ferry glide over to Monkstone Lighthouse.  It'll be a little fight with the tide but I've managed it before with Taran.  We aim to leave Flat Holm just short of low water to give us enough time to continue on down stream to The Wolves Rock and hopefully catch it just ever so slightly above the surface.
Leaving Penarth we paddle out past the Cardiff Grounds Buoy and onto the giant sand bank itself.  We brush past the fast flowing waters surrounding the banks and surf the tidal waves to keep us on track for Monkstone Lighthouse.
We land briefly on the rocks that the lighthouse endlessly guard looking back toward Penarth and Cardiff under dark shadows of a storm system.  

We hop back on the River Severn conveyor belt, which takes us now directly on to Flat Holm. 
We land beneath the cliffs we normally paddle amongst at high water.  Elan sparks up his trusty Jet Boil to cook us up a hot brew, but it's only a short stop as we have some business to attend to.  
The Wolves.  In the fifty or so times I have paddled past here there would normally be a shipping buoy and some rough water.  At spring low tides the rock does surface and for a while I've wanted to make a point of landing on the rocks.  Today wasn't a big spring.  Last night I did some old school tidal planning and calculated the rock may possibly only just be surfacing.  It wasn't worth the bother.  But the Mike Mayberry confirmed my calculations by adding there should be around 30cm/1ft of rock surfacing and to prove it we should go measure.      
Well he wasn't wrong but landing would be a little difficult....
But Elan wanted to measure.
 The tide was now on the flood and we arrived back at Penarth in quick time.
Just enough time for a few practice rolls :-)