Sunday, 25 April 2010

Macclesfield Canal - 25th April 2010

Clarke Lane <=> Higher Poynton Marina
Quote a lot of boat traffic, but seemed to avoid passing barges at bridges, apart from one delay on the return. Out in 55.40, back in 54.40. Nice to feel fairly strong on the return leg and put in a good time.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Ravenglass Seaquest - 17th April 2010

My 3rd Ravenglass Seaquest took place in very nice sunshine and very little wind. Annette and Phil made the course slightly longer this year and with the high tide they predicted that no-one would clear the course getting all the controls... however I managed it along with John Willacy and a couple of K2 teams. I got around with 4 minutes to spare in 2h 56m, but John W was well ahead of me and cleared the course in a time of 2h 39m. So I was the second male K1 - same as position as last year! It was pleasing to clear the course, the first time I've managed to get all the controls in the 3 hours allowed.

John W was paddling the prototype Taran boat from Rockpool. John has designed this boat as a fast 18ft touring kayak - not quite as full on racing style as my Epic 18X, but more of a fast boat that can be handled by most people in a range of conditions. It has slightly more hull rocker than the Epic and a bit of a flat section on the hull that gives it a little more stability compared to a racing hull that is U in cross section. It will be interesting to see the production versions - possibly a more "rounded" boat for me?...

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Conwy - Puffin Island - Great Orme - 10th April 2010

Paddle with the NWSK (12 boats in all) starting from Conwy (the Beacons car park) across to Puffin Island, lunch at the cafe at Trwyn Penmon, across to Great Orme then back to Conwy.

Little or no wind, sea either mirror calm or small waves in the vicinity of the NE tip of Puffin Island due to tide.

Set off around 10am taking a couple of hours to get to Trwyn Penmon. Did a quick time trial in the Epic reaching 13.4 kph in one direction, 11.8 in the other (average 12.6 kph).

After leisurely lunch spent in the warm spring sunshine and a session watching the seals on Puffin, we paddled across to Great Orme. Kate and I set off at a reasonable pace and we were joined by Glen. The three of us left the main group behind and eventually we separated as I pushed on to the Orme. Paddled at reasonable pace all the way across and was joined by Glen then Kate and Jules as I waited by the Orme. Kev and Jill eventually met up with us, but all the remainder of the group headed back direct to Conwy.

Kev and Glen visited the cave on the Orme that has a carved alter in it (as featured on the Coast program). I decided not to join them since the landing involved beaching on barnacles!

Returned to Conwy dodging sandbanks and scraping the rudder a few times. Off the water around 6pm. Estimated distance: 21 miles.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Portland Harbour to Weymouth Beach - 5th April 2010

Launched at Castle Cove beach and paddled out through the harbour north entrance, across Weymouth Harbour entrance and on to Weymouth beach. Carried on to the Preston Beach road section, but turned around as the conditions were getting more "lumpy" and confused. Turned around and retraced route.

Wind must have been around F5 SW giving generally following seas on the outward paddle and then paddling back into the wind and swell on the return. Conditions were lively in the vicinity of the Portland harbour entrance, particularly on the return. Getting close to comfort levels in the Epic when out by myself...

On the water for 1:50. Estimated distance 8.2 miles.

Portland Harbour and the Fleet - 3rd April 2010

Launched from Castle Cove beach and paddled to the entrance to the Fleet and down to the "no entry" signs just beyond Langton (the remaining stretch of the Fleet is a nature reserve). High tide was about 10.10am in the harbour, but water was still flowing down the fleet well after this, especially in the vicinity of the bridging camp.

On the water for about 2 hours 50 minutes. Estimated distance 12.6 miles. Fairly easy paddling on the way down, hard work on the way back paddling against the tide and also the wind (~F3/4).