The weather was set fair for Sunday, so what could be a better option? A trip out to the Skerries.
We met up at Cemlyn Bay. A rather large group too, so Si and I decided to do our own thing, separate to the group. Mirco was leading the other group and planned on following a vector to navigate out to the Skerries. Si and I decided to follow the cardinal route, as I have previously described in another post. Besides it would be an interesting experiment to see how both groups got on. So after an initial play in a messy Harry's, both groups set off.
Si wanted me to take a photo of him at Coal Rock, but the current was running too well to be able to stop and take pictures. Oh well, perhaps another time Si.
It always impresses me though how such a small marker from a distance turns into such a large object when you eventually paddle your way over to it. Anyway, having made it out to Coal Rock, we then started paddling out to the Ethel Cardinal. Then roughly, half way between Coal and Ethel cardinals and in a rough line between the Skerries and Archdeacon Rock cardinal, we started to drop in on the Skerries. As we neared the Skerries we could just make out the other group. They had arrived first, but I don't think, there really wasn't much in it. They were also battling against the flow a little, so I don't know if they had over shot, by just a tad.
As always seal song greeted our arrival. It always sounds a little like a tone deaf choir to me, without any form of beat or interest, but I am sure, to a seal it sounds lovely. It was now lunchtime's and we left our boats on the ebbing exposed beach to climb up to the light, and get some fuel in. It seemed a little eerie without the normal hustle and bustle of the tern colony, but equally tranquil and beautiful at the same time.
I had a little wonder over the hill, away from the lighthouse to get some pictures. As I was making my way over, I was thinking, blimey there must be loads of rabbits out here. There were tunnels everywhere. Then it dawned on me, perhaps due to the lack of seeing any rabbits, they weren't rabbit burrows, they were Puffin burrows. I was extra, extra careful where I put my feet. Hopping from rock to rock so as not to disturb anything.
It soon turned into a busy day on the Skerries, with several other groups of kayakers appearing. One all the way from Dundee (although I don't believe they paddled all the way!).
Back in the boats, we did a circuit of the island (it was getting too crowded), before splitting into two groups again. Mirco's plan was to head out into the tide towards West Mouse. Mine was to ferry across to Cardinal head, making as much use of what was left of the tide. I have to say looking at the group battling into the tide to get to the West Mouse, it looked hard, slow progress. Whereas, Si and I had the push of the tide helping us across to Carmel Head. So much so, Si and I were back at Cemlyn a good half an hour before the others arrived. It wasn't a race mind, but was very interesting from a navigating against the effects of the tide point of view.
All told, paddling out to the Skerries was, as always is, the most magical places to paddle out to, and makes for such a great day out.
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