Paddles with an Anas acuta...... unashamedly biased toward the sea kayak of that name (actually the voyages of two boats, one 'traffic over gold', one 'quill')

Friday, 25 April 2014

A Great Week on Anglesey

Anglesey has become so much playing the Stacks and Penrhyn that one forgets what good touring country this is. We had a week of easy touring and fun.

We hardly get to use the VHF outside of the Solent but we had a chance during the week:
-Stena Adventurer (43,572 tonnes) to Holyhead Port Control, 'approaching South Stack',
-kayaker (0.075 tonnes) to Port Control 'we are crossing the harbour and are 10 minutes from the  breakwater'
-Port Control 'all copied go ahead'
-Stena Adventurer 'I am 6 minutes from the breakwater'
-Kayaker 'we have change our minds and will stop and pass astern of the Adventurer'
-Port Control 'thanks for that'
-Dublin Swift (6000 tonnes, 40 kts) 'I'm leaving port'
-Adventurer to Dublin Swift 'those kayaks who were kind enough to wait for me are now 350m off my stern'
-Dublin Swift,' very well I'll give them a wide berth'.

 Amlwch Harbour so much more picturesque from the inside than the outside with the oil industry 'pens' spoiling the view. However, the old port was built for what were the cutting edge chemical industries of the age. What makes the difference is that the old port was built with hand craftsmanship, the new pens by pouring concrete.
 Puffin Island, plenty of guillemots and even the odd puffin, many more birds than when it was rat infested in the 1970s,
 and the seals.
 Interesting coast and with some planning the most tricky corners can be rounded in comfort
 so no need for heroics in the races if you don't need it. Even so 'round Holy Island' is a hard day out with only a small window to get through the Stanley Embankment.
 The Menai Straits, any local difficulties like the Swellies can be enjoyed or avoided with a spot of ferry gliding or just letting the eddies carry you along.
And that wow factor of sea and mountain.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

First of the summer evening paddles

Our first summer evening paddle was not very different from our evening paddles throughout the winter. However, at least we set off in daylight; our definition of summer being the start of British Summer Time.

From the Sally Port we crossed to Spitbank Fort and then recrossed the channel at Spit Refuge. It was dead low tide and the ferries were passing south of Spitbank since the Swashway was too shallow. I confidently asserted that they would join the channel south of Spit Refuge, but Liz urged caution. She was right of course, they cut inside the buoy. We headed out to Horsesands Fort where it was getting choppier. A quick circuit of the fort and it was very dark. Impossible to see the sea, but lovely to feel the pitch and roll with the occasional wash of white water over the deck. The Normandie was steaming alongside as we made our way back.

Matt took a short video. QHM comes on the radio with a weather update.