This was definitely a weekend of two halves! The Saturday was a glorious day, but the Sunday was a complete change with gales of force 7-8!
Someone suggested to me earlier in the year that I join Liverpool Canoe Club, as unlike my local club in Nottingham HPPCC, they are very active on the salty stuff. As this weekend was the third Anglesey Weekend the club had organised in 2013, I thought it was about time I went along and joined in.
Unfortunately, due to work pressures, I didn't get to leave home until very early Saturday morning. But having left home at 6 am, I arrived at the campsite and put my tent up for 9:30. I couldn't believe how many paddlers were on the campsite. If I organised a camping trip for HPPCC, I'd be lucky to get 5 ot 6 members. LCC had I think 87 members in attendance, plus there were partners and kids. I think we had taken over the whole campsite.
Gareth Jones was also there, whom I'd met before when we had a coaching day with Helen Bolister. We set off in convoy and at this point I wasn't sure where we were going. And so we ended up driving all the way back across Anglesey to the Menai Straits to Felinheli, more or less the way I'd just come and hour or so earlier. It transpired that due to the large number of sea kayakers, we'd split into two groups, with one group going for the rough stuff and our group going for a more sedate paddle. Adrian Mould took charge of our group. Introductions were made and we set off to Abermenai point with the tide helping us along. It was a beautiful day with the views up into Snowdonia simply stunning. We stopped at Fort Belan, a Napoleonic fort guarding the entrance to the Menai Straits from the south, and had a good look around. It is certainly an interesting place. The little harbour or dock didn't take much imagination to picture it as it would have looked in the 18th Century. As the tide had now turned, we ferry glided across to Abermenai point for a spot of lunch before heading back. What an excellent days paddling.
Back at the campsite there was a BBQ and social around a fire. All very civilised.
The next morning however brought a force 7-8 gale. Gareth, I and a few others headed to Borthwen bay at Rhoscolyn. I went out in my playboat, but the surf was very messy and there was not much fun to be had out there. Simply holding your paddle into the wind was an achievement. Gareth had a go in his sea-boat, but soon gave up. I decide to get my sea kayak out on the water, but having paddled out away from the messy surf found it virtually impossible to turn the boat in the strong winds, and soon headed swiftly back to shore. Well it was an experience, at least.
With not much else to do I headed back home to dry out my tent and gear. I am looking forward to 2014 and another LCC weekend away.