|Brian and Neil Turnbull and Jim Krawiecki|
Friday, 17 May 2013
I picked Jim up on the Saturday afternoon and we headed off with the plan to grab some "fresh air" before meeting up with Annette, Phil and Chris for a meal at Gosforth Hall. Jim had an excellent suggestion of walking up to the "pepper pot" that overlooks the Esk, so we found a bridlepath that took us close enough so we could cross a few fields to get to it and enjoy the fine views.
After our exercise we met up with the others at Chris' house and we had a fine meal in the pub - highly recommend the home made pies!
The following morning started off dry, but after registering at around 10am the weather started to deteriorate and we made for the cafe at the Ol'Ratty station for second breakfast!
Despite the weather, a reasonable field was assembled for the event, and at noon we all started with boats heading off in all directions. I went for the Irt first, which may have been a mistake because a number of the controls were quite a way from the water across slippery mud flats. I visited all the controls on the Irt and headed up the Mite accompanied by Neil. As we left the Mite, passing the start/finish point again, we headed into a strong headwind that was energy sapping. By this time Neil was leaving me behind, but also heading to different controls first.
I gathered the controls on the left going upstream, but by time I reached the controls near Waberthwaite Hall I knew I wouldn't be able to get the remaining two controls at the end of the Esk, so I turned and headed for home collecting the controls on the left bank as I headed downstream. I finished with about 8 minutes to spare, and finished fourth in the mens K1.
It was the first time the event was organised by Copeland Canoe Club, and they did an excellent job, but maybe need to be less zealous attempting to collect the controls in before the end of the event!
Monday, 6 May 2013
Thursday, 2 May 2013
Sunday, 28 April 2013
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Second day of the NWSK Start of Season Meet. Weather wasn't that nice, so we opted for a short 2 hour paddle in the Menai Straits. Launched from the slipway at Menai Bridge and paddled down through the suspension bridge and played for a while in the flow under the arches, but with neap tides there wasn't much to get excited about. I paddled the Hammer again, and this time it was much more in its element and handled nicely breaking in and out of the current. We paddled on down to the house on the island and chatted to a group that was under instruction. A brief stop for elevenses under the shelter of Claire's tarp on the Anglesey bank then we headed back to the slipway and some refreshment in the Liverpool Arms.
|Breaking out behind the Swellies Rock beacon|
First day of the NWSK Start of Season Meet based on the Lleyn Peninsula.
I'd heard that Jim had a new P&H Hammer kayak on loan, so I was keen to try it out. When I offered him a lift for the weekend it worked out that we didn't have room for my boat, so I was committed to paddling either the Hammer or Jim's Delphin. Being a short boat designed primarily for surfing, rock hopping and playing in tide races, I knew it would be good exercise to try and paddle it on a normal coastal paddle.
We set out not long after 10am from the campsite's beach and headed SW towards Trefor into a F4 headwind. I wasn't finding it too hard to keep up and with a bit of skeg down the Hammer was pretty easy to keep on track.
We meandered down the coast that was always interesting with spectacular buttresses of the Rivals dropping into the sea.
As we approached Nefyn, the beaches became more sandy and the large group split up - some headed for the cafe at Nefyn, the rest (including me) headed for Porth Dinllaen and the Ty Coch pub.
|Porth Dinllaen and the Ty Coch pub|
|Claire and Claire cook their lunches|
So after 3 hours and 20 minutes paddling, we reached our destination. Despite the talk of pre-ordering Guinness to allow it to settle and reach room temperature, the temptations of the pub were avoided and we had lunch on the beach in pleasant sunshine.
The paddle back was somewhat quicker with a bit of tidal assistance and more importantly the wind on our backs (mostly). With a tail/crosswind the skeg on the Hammer was definitely required. I managed to catch one or two good waves during the run home, but hardly managed to test out the Hammer as much as I'd liked to.
After a stop to collect driftwood for a fire on the beach later, we arrived back at the campsite in about 2 hours 50 minutes. I must admit I was rather tired having paddled the Hammer approximately 30km.