Friday, 27 February 2015

Macclesfield Canal - 21st February 2015

90 minute paddle on the canal paddling the Epic for a change. Adlington Marina to High Lane and back. Nice to blow away a few cobwebs!

Was planning to go out on the sea this weekend (1st March), but gales forecast :(

Monday, 9 February 2015

Return trip Porth Tywyn Mawr to Craif Yr Irwch and back - 8th February 2015

With a good weather forecast, a trip was hurriedly arranged via email and I joined Alan and Graham from the Macclesfield Canoe Club on Anglesey for a paddle around Carmel Head.

I'm not a great fan of shuttles, so with high tide around 1pm, it was easy to do a there-and-back trip going east with the flood and returning west with the ebb.

Not long after 11am, we launched at the beach at Porth Tywyn Mawr (near Llanfwrog) in warm winter sunshine and made our way north rock hopping amongst the small reefs and rock gardens. As we paddled along, we were looking at some of the coastal cottages discussing the merits of buying a holiday home, or a campervan or just saving the money and renting when required. The sensible decision is to keep the money and just rent or use B&Bs.... but common sense doesn't always prevail!

Keeping an eye on the time, we needed to round Carmel head before the tide turned, so as we approached Church Bay we avoided the temptation of exploring the coastline and made a beeline for Carmel Head.

We rounded the headland without incident, sensing perhaps that the tide had started to turn. We carried on for another couple of kilometres and took lunch on the pebble beach at Hen Borth.

After lunch we carried on east for another kilometre and rounded the small island of Craif Yr Irwch as a suitable significant point to start the return trip. I had my GPS on my spraydeck and we keeping an eye on our landspeed. The effect of the tide was initially only adding a kilometer per hour to our speed, but as we passed West Mouse and headed towards Carmel Head out speed was steadily increasing 10kph... 11kph... 12kph... then 15kph... By now the water was starting to get a bit agitated with some fun bouncy waves and as I pushed on to round the headland the GPS recorded a maximum speed of 17.5 kph!

We broke out of the main flow and tucked back into the coast to explore the rocks and cliffs that we had hurried past on the outward journey. There are numerous caves and arches hereabouts, and we found one cave at the back of the bay, just before Ynys Y Fydlyn that had a small exit passage, barely wide enough for the kayaks to pass through.

As we made out return journey we were paddling in a large eddy and the flow was against us, slowing us down. By this time it had mainly clouded over, but the winter sun was trying to force its way through the clouds creating interesting rays of light.

Tired, around 3:45pm, we landed back at our starting point and carried the boats back up to the cars.

About 26km paddled.