Saturday, 21 March 2015

Macclesfield Canal - 19th March 2015

MADCC boathouse <-> Higher Poynton Marina.
About 1:40 paddling.
Return leg in dark... forgot how spooky it is with no lights!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Macclesfield Canal - 8th March 2015

March race of the MADCC Hare and Hounds series, 4 miles, time 41:14, 6th position... handicap more realistic again!.... not sure if I'll get as fast as I did last year.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Macclesfield Canal - 21st February 2015

90 minute paddle on the canal paddling the Epic for a change. Adlington Marina to High Lane and back. Nice to blow away a few cobwebs!

Was planning to go out on the sea this weekend (1st March), but gales forecast :(

Monday, 9 February 2015

Return trip Porth Tywyn Mawr to Craif Yr Irwch and back - 8th February 2015

With a good weather forecast, a trip was hurriedly arranged via email and I joined Alan and Graham from the Macclesfield Canoe Club on Anglesey for a paddle around Carmel Head.

I'm not a great fan of shuttles, so with high tide around 1pm, it was easy to do a there-and-back trip going east with the flood and returning west with the ebb.

Not long after 11am, we launched at the beach at Porth Tywyn Mawr (near Llanfwrog) in warm winter sunshine and made our way north rock hopping amongst the small reefs and rock gardens. As we paddled along, we were looking at some of the coastal cottages discussing the merits of buying a holiday home, or a campervan or just saving the money and renting when required. The sensible decision is to keep the money and just rent or use B&Bs.... but common sense doesn't always prevail!

Keeping an eye on the time, we needed to round Carmel head before the tide turned, so as we approached Church Bay we avoided the temptation of exploring the coastline and made a beeline for Carmel Head.

We rounded the headland without incident, sensing perhaps that the tide had started to turn. We carried on for another couple of kilometres and took lunch on the pebble beach at Hen Borth.

After lunch we carried on east for another kilometre and rounded the small island of Craif Yr Irwch as a suitable significant point to start the return trip. I had my GPS on my spraydeck and we keeping an eye on our landspeed. The effect of the tide was initially only adding a kilometer per hour to our speed, but as we passed West Mouse and headed towards Carmel Head out speed was steadily increasing 10kph... 11kph... 12kph... then 15kph... By now the water was starting to get a bit agitated with some fun bouncy waves and as I pushed on to round the headland the GPS recorded a maximum speed of 17.5 kph!

We broke out of the main flow and tucked back into the coast to explore the rocks and cliffs that we had hurried past on the outward journey. There are numerous caves and arches hereabouts, and we found one cave at the back of the bay, just before Ynys Y Fydlyn that had a small exit passage, barely wide enough for the kayaks to pass through.

As we made out return journey we were paddling in a large eddy and the flow was against us, slowing us down. By this time it had mainly clouded over, but the winter sun was trying to force its way through the clouds creating interesting rays of light.

Tired, around 3:45pm, we landed back at our starting point and carried the boats back up to the cars.

About 26km paddled.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

River Eden - 18th January 2015

Annual trip down the Eden with the Macclesfield Canoe Club. Slightly above medium water level to give a fairly bouncy and entertaining paddle. Snow on the ground made for a chilly wait while the shuttle cars were sorted, but soon warmed up once on the river. Paddled the Pyranha Burn for the first time and this provided a dryer ride than the Inazone, though perhaps slightly less entertaining.

7km from Lazonby to Armathwaite.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Macclesfield Canal - 11th January 2015

First "Hare and Hounds" club handicap race. 4 miles. Time of 41:58, well down on my best time of last year of 38:10 and hence came in 14th, but the good news is that the handicaps get reset using the January race!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Beaumaris (Gallows Point) to Red Wharf Bay - 4th January 2015

My first paddle of 2015 saw a group of us from Macclesfield Canoe Club set off from Gallows Point on a glorious winter's day. Little wind and bright sunshine meant it did not feel that cold, but the snow-capped mountains of Snowdonia reminded us that we were in the depths of winter.

We headed out N/NE en route to Puffin Island with the hope of seeing the resident seals. We were not disappointed - a large colony was hauled up on the beach on the SW corner of the island, and then we met several more seals as we paddled to the NE end where another significant group was on the rocks. The seals of Puffin Island are very inquisitive (perhaps because they are so used to kayakers and the summer boat trips) they come very close to the boats to check you out.

We left the seals and continued around the island and across the ebbing tidal stream to visit the Trwyn Du lighthouse followed by lunch on the beach.

Suitably refreshed we made our way around the coast rock-hopping and admiring the cliffs and into a now freshening breeze. Paddling under the cliffs took us out of the sunlight, so we began to feel the chill of the January afternoon and we soon reached our destination at the E end of Red Wharf Bay.

With the tide now well out we had a long carry/trolley to get the boats back to the cars. Once this chore was complete we could reflect on another great day paddling on Anglesey.

Approx. 20km paddled and 4 hours on the water.