2023-01-28 Stacks Again

Saturday morning, I met up with Si, Keith and Ashley for breakfast in a little cafe at Valley. The reason for having breakfast here instead of in the Paddlers, was that Anglesey Outdoors and especially the Paddlers was heaving! If we'd had gone to the Paddlers, we would have been waiting for a very long time to get served. The New Forest Kayak and Canoe Club were certainly out in force. We had heard the night before they were heading down the Llyn to do a Bardsey Island trip and hence they were all loading up with Breakfast before setting off on the hour and a half drive down the Llyn. So with Breakfast all sorted at Valley Cafe, we headed off to Porth-y-Pwll, another little cove between Porth Dafarch and Trearddur Bay with easy access and parking.

We set off on the flood tide to the Stacks. The weather was fairly calm, if a little dull, with some swell. From a distance we could see the breaking waves of Penhryn Mawr (PM) looking quite ominous. We all commented we didn't think we'd be playing in there.

At PM, we dropped in via the chicken run, and had a few ferry guides across the currents. Ashley was keen to take a look at the main event, so we followed her lead out to the main race. It didn't look as bad as we had feared from a distance. Ashley was in like a shot. Followed swiftly by Si. I  wasn't too sure, especially as I was paddling with my Epic wing paddles, but looking at how Ashley and Si were fairing, I must have forgotten my paddle reservations and followed them in to the race. It was actually fine, big'ish, if a little messy, but certainly no cause for any dramas. After my first play, I went and told Keith to come and have a go. It didn't take him long before was grinning away. I think we were all surprised by how well behaved PM was, despite its earlier appearance.

After a little while of playing in the race, we set off further round the coast, rock hopping and exploring. Besides there really is only so much fun you can have playing in the race in one go. Although Si did manage to get beached at one point, coming through a gap in the rocks as the water receded. Sorry Si, I have the pictures and video! Once again, there was a little race coming out of Abraham's Bosom, but nothing like a strong as it was the day before. We stopped on a beach in Abraham's Bosom for a break/bite to eat/chat. I actually fell in, approaching the beach, as I was getting my feet out of the cockpit. I somehow lost my balance faffing about. I rolled up though, but now had a cockpit full of water. Err... embarrassing. But thinking positively, I have not done a lot of rolls with my wing paddles. I have to say, in much the same way wings grip the water when forward paddling, they grip the water really well when rolling too. It was a really easy roll, despite having a lot of additional weight in the boat.

By this point I was a little annoyed with myself for not wearing my GoPro Max in Penhryn Mawr, so I made sure I had the camera on my helmet for the rest of the trip. Unfortunately I was using my phone (in a waterproof case) to switch it on and off and at some point, I must have knocked the settings so that my camera only captured the view out of the rear  camera lens; not the full 360 video. Consequently, I had lots of footage looking backwards. doh! I guess this is a little learning point. I no longer use my phone to operate the camera, I simply use the off/off buttons on the camera. Much simpler! Twit!

Unlike the day before at South Stack, there were a lot of Guillemot's on the cliffs. These must have come in overnight, as the day before there were no Guillemot's at all.

We ended up paddling around to North Stack. Lots of seal in Parliament Cave, so we left them well alone. I did a bit of cave exploring, which in turn upset my GPS, as my gps track goes a little awry, as can be seen on my GPS track below. I looks like I went completely under North Stack and out towards Holyhead harbour before returning. I really didn't! When we'd returned back from the trip, we couldn't quite work out why I'd gone further than the rest of the group.  Oh well!

Photos from Saturday (What a difference a day makes!):

A top days paddling! 15.9nm (but probably only 15 nm in reality)


GPS track

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