Sunday 24th May
This recent bank holiday weekend saw me driving over to Anglesey (again) on Sunday to meet up with my paddle buddy. The original plan was to go out to the Skerries, but the wind from the NW had other ideas. So we settled on meeting at Borth Wen, Rhoscolyn at the very reasonable time of 11:00 am. This is a nice time for me as it does not mean getting up a silly o'clock; I set off from near Nottingham at 8:00am, after a lovely lie-in.
This was the first time my new kayak, a Nordkapp Førti had come across water. After a quick launch, we were off. The foot pegs seemed to be about right, but as I set off the right peg slipped, so it was back to the beach to pop the peg back in. Moments later we were off again.
On leaving the shelter of Borth Wen, we could see the tidal race was well and truly working off Rhoscolyn Beacon.
As I was beginning to surf the waves on the inner race, I realised the back band on my seat could do with being a little tighter as I was just very slightly tippier than I would have liked. Oh well, there was nothing I could do now, until we stop for lunch.
With confidence in full flow we headed out to the outer race. I must say the Nordkapp Førti surfs brilliantly and is very responsive too! A couple of times her nose went quite deep into the waves as I was surfing along and I thought I may get a pirouette or two, but no such luck. It was tiring surfing the waves and so after a while we decided to head back to Borth Wen for some lunch.
Lunch consumed and seat tightened up a little, we set out for another session on the outer Beacon. Great fun.
On the way back into Borth Wen we decided we ought to practice our rescue techniques. We both managed to capsize and self rescue ourselves via a reentry roll, and for good measure we even practiced our T-rescues. Not long after this we bumped into Philip Clegg of Sea Kayaking Anglesey and his group. The group turned out to contain Sabina Neall, who I've known ever since paddling the Tyne Tour with her back in 2003! This was the second Tides and Over-falls Weekend she had organised. I went on her first weekend earlier in the year.
With big grins, arms aching, we reluctantly got off the water at about 16:00.
Best days paddle ever!
Sabina told me there was plenty of room at Anglesey Outdoors, despite them telling me on the phone they were fully booked. So, I called in on Anglesey Outdoors and they squeezed me in. I was very happy and grateful with this, as not only did it mean I could eat in the Paddlers Return (excellent food and beer), but I could also make good use of their drying room to dry my wet kit out for the following day.
Monday 25th May
We had arranged the previous night to meet up at Porth Dafarch and paddle out to tidal race at Penrhyn Mawr. No sooner had we arrived many other paddlers arrived, including Phil Clegg, Sabina and their group. Great minds think alike.
At Penryn Mawr the races we beginning to pick up and we paddled on the middle race for quite a while picking up the occasionable surf-able wave. Phil Clegg, Sabina, Stuart and group arrived not long after us and we moved out to the outer race. Thanks to Phil I have some pictures, as once again the GoPro refused to turn on.
After Phil and the group left; they were carrying on to Soldiers point, James Stevenson came through with a group, closely followed by Roger Chandler and his group. By this time we were getting very tired and decided to start heading back against the tide to Porth Dafarch.
I still need to do a bit of fettling with my seat, but it is getting there. I really do like my new boat!
Best Days paddling ever!!!
All I had to do then was to drive the 180 miles home in the Bank Holiday traffic! But it was worth it.