I think it is fair to say that Si, Keith and myself have a great fondness for paddling on the north coast of Anglesey. The rugged remote coastline, the islands - skerries, west mouse, Middle Mouse and East Mouse (I was going to say mice) along with the excellent wildlife, with plenty of birds, porpoises and the occasional dolphin or two, what is not to like? Duncan Greene (of Greene Adventures) asked me on Saturday morning "where are you paddling today"? To which I answered "the North Coast". I think he was a little surprised and and asked me why, to which I answered "we like it". So not long afterwards Keith, Si and I set off for Cemlyn Bay. As we neared the bay, from the glimpses of the sea I could see though the hedgerows, it wasn't looking too great. This was further confirmed on arrival at Cemlyn. There were plenty of white horses out at sea and the bouy for Harry Furlongs was rocking back and forth like a wagging finger. With this wagging, warning finger, we jumped back in the cars and headed back to Trearddur, to join the other groups getting on the water. Well that was a nice, but wasted 33 mile drive.
So, its not the North Coast then! Setting off from Trearddur Bay (we were the last to arrive and first on the water - not that I am competitive at all, just saying), it was very apparent how different the conditions were compared to the north coast. There was a bit of a swell but nothing like the chaos of the North. Si had said he fancied a long'ish paddle. So we started off by heading south to Rhoscolyn, rock hopping as we went. For some reason Si wasn't feeling it (not like Si) he kept telling me to slow down. I pointed out that usually it is the other way around. But the trouble for me was I had decided to use my Epic wing paddles, and every time I tried to practice paddling properly, ie. with a better technique, I would just find myself going faster. So instead of paddling properly and efficiently, I went back to my bog standard play boater paddle technique (albeit with just the odd burst of paddling efficiently/faster hehehe!).
At times, despite the beautiful sunny weather, we were into the wind with one stretch underneath the Coastalwatch Institution tower near Rhoscolyn being very windy. And then, suddenly following this blast of wind, the wind dropped to a mere light breeze. We set off for Rhoscolyn Beacon. The swell was pretty good across this stretch, nice and lumpy which provided lots of fun. Out at the beacon, we had a little play in the race, but with the swell coming from the South / SSW, the race was very messy. I managed a short surf on one of the waves before the swell neutralised the wave, after a brief couple of seconds. The others faired equally as badly. So we paddled around the Beacon and rocks, had a little play on the inner races (protected from the swell) before heading into Porth y Corwgl (the little bay next to Borthwen with the rather nice and exclusive "holiday homes") for a spot of lunch.
By now the tide was ebbing, so we headed back to Trearddur Bay effectively into the flow (again)! Except, there are so many back eddies on this stretch, it really is not an issue. As we made our way towards Trearddur Bay we heard a shout by the coastguard on Channel 16 for a kayaker in trouble near mini mouse. We hoped all ended well. But definitely not the right day for the North coast. We crossed the bay at Trearddur Bay, heading for the "haunted house" Craig-y-Mor, where Si had a leg stretch. As it was far too early to end our days adventures, we continued rock hopping to Porth Dafarch, "Mini" Mawr, the old lifeboat station at Porth Ruffydd, before making our way around the rocks at Penrhyn Mawr (would have been rude not to), which of course was not doing a lot now, as the tide was still ebbing. By now, the wind had freshened somewhat and was now blowing directly into our faces. We set a course heading for Trearddur Bay, but with the wind and possibly a bit of tide (back eddies?) it was painfully hard going. About a three quarters of mile offshore and SW of Porth Y Post we decided to change our course to Porth y Post. This leg was like a giant ferry glide, or ferry grunt! Progress was slow. But at least we could feel some progress as the house at the back of Porth y post loomed larger. Once in amongst the protection of the rocks and out of the wind, progress became much easier, with us making our way back to the beach at Trearddur Bay.
It was a truly awesome days paddle, despite Si being a grump and it not being the North Coast. 🙂 15.1 nm 5hr 41 min