Monday, 18 April 2011

The Skerries - 17th April 2011

Finally made it out to the Skerries!

With a good forecast - little wind, with hopefully no swell - it seemed a shame to miss paddling on Sunday. Posting on the forum, only Trevor and I seemed interested in a paddle. He'd been thinking of going out to the Skerries, and I was keen because I'd never been out to them before.

Driving along the A55 along the N Wales coast, and on to Anglesey, the weather looked great. However turning off the main road in Valley we could see a fog bank just sitting in Holyhead bay, with Holyhead Mountain sticking its head above the mist. Trevor said we may be paddling on instruments... with the tides being just off springs and running up to 4 knots this got me slightly worried.

Luckily though when we launched the fog bank didn't extend as far north as Cemlyn Bay and we headed off in the sunshine. We set off 2 hours before the end of the ebb with the general plan of paddling in a N'rly direction and then letting the tide take us NW to position us to then paddle more directly to the Skerries.

Our route took us out N of the Victoria Bank marker and passed by Coal Rock. This put us in a good position to be swept in to the Skerries and we made the crossing in about an hour. Trevor clocked us at 15kph at times on his GPS.

We landed in the small harbour, had a snack and explored the island. Two workers were around the lighthouse. They were on the island to give the lighthouse and its surrounding buildings a new coat of paint. I can think of a worse job!

There is a well constructed footbridge to provide access to the NE tip of the island over a small zawn.

On the return we passed the small reef just off the Skerries E side that is only exposed on spring low tides.

The return paddle via West Mouse was uneventful - we had hoped for more bouncy conditions given the tidal stream. Perhaps we had set off too early in the flood. But it was still a great paddle.

The paddle back took just over 1.5 hours. Just under 18km paddled.

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