Monday, 30 August 2010

Portland Harbour and the Fleet - 29th August 2010

Quick jaunt from Castle Cove across to the fleet and up to the bridging camp. On the water for an hour, GPS measured 7.8km. Strange paddling up the fleet against a strong wind - progress felt slow, but GPS was reading 10-11kph - showing the strength of the incoming tide. Once turned around it was necessary to stick to the sides to miss the main flow.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Macclesfield Canal - 20th August 2010

Back to the usual training paddle - Clark Lane <-> Higher Poynton Marina.
Out in 52.18, back in 57. Fast paddle out, but a bit of wind assistance that combined with being a bit tired from the Eddystone slowed the return.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Eddystone Challenge - August 14th 2010

Back again to try and complete this in better style than last time! I paddled through out with Glen Parry my "buddy" from last year.

Weather forecast wasn't ideal (N F4-5) but conditions were fairly calm and the organisers went for it. (The bad weather alternative is a 10 mile race up the Tamar and around the harbour).

A gig makes ready

Glen ready to make his way to the start

John Willacy

We started at noon and with a light wind on our backs and a small swell generally in our favour we made good progress out to the lighthouse, reaching the light in 2:20 - compared to last year's time of 3:10. A much easier paddle than last time, with the GPS reading 10-11 kph.

Approaching the light

Glen (far right) rounding the light

Conditions were still pretty good as we approached the light but we encountered choppy waves immediately as we headed back due to tidal action around the rocks (small overfall/tide race). Another paddler took a wider route around the light and made up time on us.

Looking back towards the distant mainland the weather looked varied - sunshine in places but heavy rain was also visible. Conditions deteriorated with the wind getting up (maybe NW F4-5?) with choppy swell and small waves coming on to us from the left. Adding to that the occasional squall of heavy rain made the return paddle a real slog. GPS was reading around 5kph most of time, at times just over 6kph in the more friendly swell and down to about 2kph in the heavy squalls.

Once about 5k out from the harbour breakwater the land started to shield us from the worst of the weather and we managed to pick up speed slightly and maintain a decent rhythm and by the time we reached the inner harbour Glen and I were paddling at 9-10kph to try and ensure we made it back in under 6 hours. We finally crossed the line in a time of 5:55. Not too bad, but considering John Willacy went around in 4:39 (TBC) it's obvious we're not in the same league. GPS trip reckoned the route was 45km.


It was slightly easier to eat and drink this time, so I felt a bit better. Still should have eaten more beforehand - toast and special K for breakfast should have been complemented with something more substantial before the race - bacon butty from the race BBQ and/or banana perhaps. On the water I ate 2 chewy bars, several jelly babies and a chopped up double decker. As well as 1 litre in a bladder, I had 500ml of water with electrolyte added.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Bridgewater Canal - 7th August 2010

Back on the canals... but a different one this time. Jim from the NWSK needed to pick up a new boat from the P&H shop in Runcorn, so he wanted to paddle it back to Manchester via the Bridgewater Canal.

So after a good look around the shop and sitting in another boat (the prototype Delphin), at 10am we launched Jim's new Cetus MV and along with Sean we headed off towards Manchester.

Very civilised - ice cream stop just after 11am, sausage and chips in Lymm for lunch and a pint at the Barn Owl Inn mid afternoon.

Jim's brother Chris paddled out from Manchester and met us at Lymm just in time for lunch.

We arrived in Stretford around 4.30pm after 32km of paddling.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Rhoscolyn - 3rd August 2010

Family trip to the beach, but we took a couple of boats with us. Had a paddle round the bay with Gavin laying on my back deck and Allen paddling the Rotobat.

Back on the beach I got both boys to fall out of the Rotobat, and I took them through how I would rescue them.

Had a quick paddle around Rhoscolyn Beacon by myself a bit later.

Church Bay to Cemaes Bay - 1st August 2010

Met up with Will, Mary, Brian and Dave from the NWSK for a day trip from Church Bay round Carmel Head and on to the N coast of Anglesey.

Set off from Church Bay with Mary and Dave just after 11am and quickly joined the flood tide with bouncy conditions through the skerries off Ynys Y Fydlyn and on to Carmel Head. Peak GPS reading was 13kph. About 2-3 ft waves in places with the tide running against the NW 2-3 wind. The Skerries lighthouse looked very tempting, and the Skerries were in view pretty much throughout the trip.

Stopped for a snack and to wait for Will and Brian (who was delayed) at a beach just before Harry Furlough's Rocks/Trwyn Cemlyn. Once we were all together we carried on rock hopping our way round to Cemaes Bay and stopped for a late lunch and to wait for the tide to turn (HT 3.20pm).

Dave had hurt his back doing a support stroke, so he didn't want to go any further and we were planning to pick him up later, but luckily another paddler we knew entered the bay and we arranged for him to take Dave back to his car at Church Bay.

On the return trip we didn't really benefit from the ebb tide until Harry Furlough's Rocks where there was a small race and a few waves to play in. The sun had come out for a while and we stopped for a final rest at the lovely Hen Borth before making our way around quickly with the tide around Carmel Head back to Church Bay to land around 7pm.

Total distance around 31km.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Macclesfield Canal - 26th July 2010

Launched at Clarke Lane, paddled down to Bosley Locks, back to Clarke Lane, then on to Higher Poynton Marina. Quick snack in the cafe and back to Clarke Lane. Just over 40km. Just under 5 hours paddling.