Wednesday, 24 April 2013

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.

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