Wednesday, 14 April 2010

A whizz and a slog

North coast of Angelsey, 11th April 2010.

High water was at about 09.30 and low 15.00 and it made sense to make the most of the weather and the tidal flow to have a bit of a blast from Porth Eilian in a westerley direction off the north coast of the island.

Five of us were on the water for about 10.30, myself, Ray and Kate

and Bill and Royanne.
As we were launching we were joined by a group of what looked like serious local rowers with their tub.

We paddled out of the bay under the rather dominant feature of the Point Lynas lighthouse and started heading west in the helpful westerley flowing tidal stream.

Soon the entrance to Amlwch harbour hoved in to view.....

with the adjacent chemical works.

This corner of Angelsey has a long industrial past with the nearby Parys Mountain providing copper and other ores, while more recently an offshore terminal with an onshore oil storage facility and chemical works provided much needed employment. All are now closed and the industrial dereliction is apparent.

We whizzed on past Bull Bay and the beautiful Porth Wen to
Porth Llanlleiana.

Kate, Bill and Royanne had more time to play with and carried on west (heaven knows where they ended up!) whereas Ray and I needed to be off the water by 16.00 and so decided to lunch here to give ourselves enough time to paddle back against the tidal flow.

The industrial archaelogy here and at Porth Wen is quite astonishing, not only because of the location but also because of what they were producing, although sometimes even that is difficult to get to the bottom of. Was this a china clay works, or a brick works specialising in kiln bricks, or maybe it was a shoe factory? Best check with Ray though on the last one.......!

Middle Mouse is perfectly framed through the gap between the walls

and it's a long way down without too much opportunity to bounce!

Inland are some reedbeds that would be pretty cool to investigate for their wildlife. However we needed to get back, so off we set aginst a forecast 14-19 knot easterley wind and a westerley flowing tidal flow. It was a case of head down and slogging along between headlands, battling around even the smallest of headlands with clapotis and random waves, taking a quick breather in each lee and then cracking on for the next one.

We were literally at the last lobster pot bouy before entering the final bay when the tidal flow turned in our favour. But we had done pretty well with an hour half outward paddle and a two hour return paddle, being off the water for 15.30. I wonder where Bill, Royanne and Kate got to?