Sunday, 28 April 2013

Macclesfield Canal - 28th April 2013

Clarke Lane <> Higher Poynton Marina.
Out in 53:32, back in 57:20.
Bit blustery, with persistent rain and more of a headwind on the return leg.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Swellies - 21st April 2013

Second day of the NWSK Start of Season Meet. Weather wasn't that nice, so we opted for a short 2 hour paddle in the Menai Straits. Launched from the slipway at Menai Bridge and paddled down through the suspension bridge and played for a while in the flow under the arches, but with neap tides there wasn't much to get excited about. I paddled the Hammer again, and this time it was much more in its element and handled nicely breaking in and out of the current. We paddled on down to the house on the island and chatted to a group that was under instruction. A brief stop for elevenses under the shelter of Claire's tarp on the Anglesey bank then we headed back to the slipway and some refreshment in the Liverpool Arms.

Breaking out behind the Swellies Rock beacon

Roundtrip Aberafon Campsite to Porth Dinllaen - 20th April 2013

First day of the NWSK Start of Season Meet based on the Lleyn Peninsula.

I'd heard that Jim had a new P&H Hammer kayak on loan, so I was keen to try it out. When I offered him a lift for the weekend it worked out that we didn't have room for my boat, so I was committed to paddling either the Hammer or Jim's Delphin. Being a short boat designed primarily for surfing, rock hopping and playing in tide races, I knew it would be good exercise to try and paddle it on a normal coastal paddle.

We set out not long after 10am from the campsite's beach and headed SW towards Trefor into a F4 headwind. I wasn't finding it too hard to keep up and with a bit of skeg down the Hammer was pretty easy to keep on track.

We meandered down the coast that was always interesting with spectacular buttresses of the Rivals dropping into the sea.

Near Trefor

As we approached Nefyn, the beaches became more sandy and the large group split up - some headed for the cafe at Nefyn, the rest (including me) headed for Porth Dinllaen and the Ty Coch pub.

Porth Dinllaen and the Ty Coch pub

Claire and Claire cook their lunches

Porth Dinllaen

So after 3 hours and 20 minutes paddling, we reached our destination. Despite the talk of pre-ordering Guinness to allow it to settle and reach room temperature, the temptations of the pub were avoided and we had lunch on the beach in pleasant sunshine.

The paddle back was somewhat quicker with a bit of tidal assistance and more importantly the wind on our backs (mostly). With a tail/crosswind the skeg on the Hammer was definitely required. I managed to catch one or two good waves during the run home, but hardly managed to test out the Hammer as much as I'd liked to.

After a stop to collect driftwood for a fire on the beach later, we arrived back at the campsite in about 2 hours 50 minutes. I must admit I was rather tired having paddled the Hammer approximately 30km.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Macclesfield Canal - 14th April 2013

Clarke Lane <> Higher Poynton Marina
Out in 54:26, back in a very wind affected 69:20.
Nearly had my paddles blown out of my hands a couple of times, and the paddle back was a real slog. Good for the training I suppose.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Macclesfield Canal - 10th April 2013

Clarke Lane <> Bridge 18
Out in 39:10, back in a pedestrian 41:47.
Still light at 8:10! Nice to have the light evenings back again.
Still the odd patch of snow alongside the canal.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Bull Bay to Cemlyn Bay and back - 6th April 2013

Reverse of the trip paddled in February, but this time I was paddling with Rachael, Alan and Alan from the Macclesfield Canoe Club. We launched from Bull Bay with the intention to head west with the ebbing tide towards Cemlyn Bay. We were aiming to arrive in time for lunch and returning on the flood tide that should have started around 2.30pm.

With the tidal assistance we were making a groundspeed of 10-12kph and passed by Middle Mouse island in just over 30 minutes. The benign conditions meant the estimate of how long we would take was rather conservative, and we arrived at Cemlyn well ahead of schedule so we settled down for a leisurely lunch to wait for the tide to turn.

On the outbound leg we had decided to stay out in the tidal flow to get the miles under our belt, but the return leg was totally different as we hugged the shore rock-hopping and exploring caves and inlets.

The outbound leg took about 1 hour 20, while the return leg was a lot slower at around 2 hours 30. About 24km paddled.

The sunshine on the front garden of the Bull Bay Hotel proved too much of a temptation, so the day was rounded off with a quick drink before heading off home.