2022 was a bit of a weird year for me. It started off fairly normally, but from July I was increasingly busy with some family bereavements. Apart from my IOW circumnavigation and the Oban Sea Kayak Race which had been previously pencilled in on the calendar, if I did get any time to go paddling the weather was generally poor. Consequently my sea trips dropped off completely, despite me retiring at the end of August!
Into 2023, and suddenly there was a weather window for the weekend and I had a gate pass! As the weather was looking better on the Friday and decreasing throughout the weekend, I decided to set off early'ish on Friday for Anglesey, arriving around lunchtime. I could get a sneaky solo paddle in before Keith and Si arrived on Friday night.
I launched from Port-y-Post, half way between Porth Dafarch and Trearddur Bay. Porth-y-post has a shorter carry in; the beach shelves steeply there. Important when you are on your tod and lifting all your gear on your own. Porth-y-Post also has reasonable parking. Before deciding to park there, I'd had a quick look at Porth Dafarch, which was really busy.
It was a super day, with hardly any wind and a flat calm sea. I had already decided to set off for the Stacks, with the diminishing flood tide, so I'd possibly benefit from a push home, depending on how far and long I'd be out for.
As I approached the old life boat station, Porth Ruffydd, a very low helicopter came over and also started to head towards the old Lifeboat station. As I was wanting to go across the bay to Penhryn Mawr and I wasn't sure quite what his intentions were, I kept close to the shore. When suddenly a dangling man appeared beneath the helicopter. They were practicing lowering the dangling man on the cliff tops next to Porth Ruffydd. I decided I would paddle behind the very low helicopter to Penhryn Mawr and get out of the way. It was suddenly a little windy!
I was somewhat surprised I hadn't seen any groups so far, as there were plenty of vehicle parked up at Porth Dafarch with empty kayak roof bars. They must be either in a bay having lunch or have already gone further on to North Stack?
At Abraham's Bosom, the race coming out of the bay was running well, which required a bit of a ferry glide to cross the race. I've only ever seen this race running fast like this twice now. But then I guess I haven't been this late on the flood tide too many times either. As I crossed Abraham's Bosom, I could just make out a large group on the beach. This was slightly reassuring, as I was sure I couldn't be the only person in the area.
At South Stack I decided to do a lap of South Sick to get me on the performanceseakayaking.co.uk website 2023 1000 Islands board. It was an easy lap, so I did it again for good measure. I might even get 'deaux" points!! The light was fantastic.
On the way back I bumped into a couple of the groups. It was the New Forest Kayak and Canoe Club Anglesey trip and it looked like they were split into three large groups. A pretty good turnout.
Distance: 8.0 happy nautical smiles (or 9.2 miles)
Photos from Friday:
A top days paddling!
GPS track on OpenSeaMap