Monday, 13 June 2011

The Skerries - 11th June 2011

First day of a weekend of coaching with Olly Sanders running through rescue scenarios.

Given the conditions - F3 W wind and a tide ebbing till about 13:30, it was decided to do a short trip along the north coast of Anglesey launching from Cemlyn Bay heading west.

In the eddies and small race around West Mouse we did some towing practice (single tows, towing a 2 man raft, 2 boats in line tow of a 2 man raft). We were going to head for Carmel Head, but since John had never been out to the Skerries, Olly decided we should change our plans and head out to them instead.

It was a beautiful day and once we were getting near the Skerries we started seeing the puffins and other birds that nest on the island. It was so much different from when I was there earlier in the spring with very few birds.

We landed in the small natural harbour and had a quick lunch outside the lighthouse.

The island is a nesting place of terns - arctic and common, and they are very protective of their ground nest sites and attack you when you approach. Wearing a hat is highly advisable... or follow a taller friend very close!

We bumped into a few other parties of kayakers at the lighthouse - Justine and Barry, plus the very tall Mark Pawley... who suffered a nasty attack and gained an impressive war wound!

After the ornithology interlude we got back on the water and by this time the flood had started and a reasonable size race was forming on a rock outcrop on the W side of the island giving us a good venue to practice more rescues, towing and general boat handling.

After about an hour of this we turned and headed back to Cemlyn. On the water for about 5 hours. About 16k paddled.

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