Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Return trip

A month had passed and I hadn't been out in my kayak. Life at work has been mad and it was time to relieve some tension. The weather on Saturday looked to be set fair so off I went to Angelsey again to repeat my last trip, this time solo.

Launching in to the mist at Borthwen created a great atmosphere and a conversation beforehand with the couple whose family own the old lifeboat station was interesting. They liked the kayak (composite Valley Aquanaut) and were fascinated by all the kit I carried, most of it very necessary if paddling solo.

The sea was flat calm and an instructor had a group of four paddlers in the bay practicing edgeing their kayaks. Being the summer there were one or two jet skis around and as they seemed intent on heading south towards Silver Bay, I turned north and headed up towards Trearddur, rock hopping my way up the coast and using the eddies to progress against the ebb tidal flow. Some of the caves, gloups and arches are simply stunning and I was dawdling and playing that much that other sea kayakers caught me up before turning around and heading back.

The sea was dotted with pleasure fishing boats anchored in strategic places near rocks or eddylines where the fishing is best. Fish were leaping high out of the water to catch flies, and waders: redshank, knot, turnstones, curlews, greenshank, perhaps on passage, were feeding or resting on the rocks.

Turning south I decided to head out to Rhoscolyn Beacon, always something of a smelly experience (guano) but also good for a few seals. Sure enough a couple were lying up and weren't bothered as I paddled past within touching distance through one of the channels. After, when heading in to Borthwen, the mist was clearing and the sun was fighting its way through. I met a couple from Sheffield paddling sit on tops. The man had offered to help when I was unloading the kayak off the roof of my car after my arrival. They confessed to being new to this paddling lark. It was calm so I offered to escort them over to the islands. I think they got the best view of seals they had ever had. Brilliant.

Heading back in to Borthwen the lifeboat house people were about, he reading what looked like work (how sad in such a superb place), while sitting on a deckchair at the top of the ramp, she snorkelling with someone else in the water at the entrance to one of the channels. The sea was covered in a thin film of what looked like fuel, presumably from jet skis and other powered craft, and trapped in the bay by the calm. Another conversation ensued before I headed in and reluctantly climbed out of my boat after five hours on the water. Shortly afterwards the training group appeared and also packed up.

Great day..... but no pics! I left the camera at home. Doh!