We've had a prolonged period of anti-cyclonic weather and the coastal forecast for Saturday 1st October 2011 was for wind easterly becoming southerly F1-4, gusts up to 19kn, sea state slight, visiblity moderate becoming good. Tides were fairly high, just after Springs. As seemingly nearly always at Borthwen, the bay was very sheltered and the water near flat. Just the right sort of day for a paddle....
Paddling out of Borthwen we turned northwest and immediately hit the chaotic waters often found on the way up to Rhoscolyn Head, an area where tidal flows frequently clash. No photos here then! Rounding Rhoscolyn we entered the relative shelter of Porth Saint where this geo can be found. It's very narrow and I went in backwards, not realising there was an almighty seal right at the back on the cobble beach. I heard a bit of a splash, a little louder than many of the other splashes, but thought nothing of it, until this massive
seal swam under my kayak and stuck its head up at my bow, then dived again. I quickly exited to leave it in peace. It bellowed at me as I paddled away, the sound reverberating off the walls of the geo.
From Rhoscolyn to Trearddur the sea was chaotic close inshore but much more amenable further out. The swell was very variable and every now and again a massive swell set would come in, washing up the cliffs. There were many fishermen on the cliffs herabouts and it wouldn't have taken too much more on some of the waves to drag them in.
It was high water when we reached Trearddur and we had lunch on the thin strip of sand between the sea and the promenade, if you can call it that, with about 60 other people. While we were there the RNLI IRB launched and headed off in the direction we had come from. Setting off back to Rhoscolyn I resolved to try and get some more pictures.
We frequently lost sight of one another as the large swell sets came through.
On the way out we avoided paddling through the white arch due to the swell but on the way back we decided to give it a go. Paddling in to the arch the swell was coming at us from the right and breaking immediately before the entrance. Careful timing and judgement was needed to get through this zone and under the arch.
The exit required a 90 degree turn to face the incoming swell, which was breaking badly on the cliffs either side but holding good in the middle. Obviously you go for the middle if you are sensible. Fiona was on the other side of this beasty and I was very hurridly putting my camera away after this shot. I had somehow managed to not hit the shutter button on several occasions before this picture. I can't think why! There are cliffs to my left and right and also at my back.
We paddled on to Rhoscolyn Head, where a party under instruction were holding station before going in to the cave one by one. Shortly after, Fiona decided to breakout of the chaos of the inshore passage and head to the beacon, so naturally I followed. The water was much better behaved in the lee of the rocks, but chaotic on the other side of the outer island. We went through the middle and along the southern edge.
Just off the inshore side of the rocks was a SoT with two people on. No BA's, wearing jeans and jumpers, just sat there on more or less flat water! Within a 100m in a 180 degree arch the sea was foaming. Fiona and I were pretty damp, even all kitted up. Roll-on Bothwen!