Thursday, 10 March 2016

Cable Bay to the Sea Zoo - 6th March 2016

I'm not a great fan of shuttles since they end up taking up a lot of time, but this one was worth it to be able to get a long and varied paddle in. We left a couple of cars at the Sea Zoo on the Menai Straits and returned to Cable Bay to launch.

Just a week before I'd headed north from the same beach, but this time we were going south, and uncharted territory for me. The planned paddle pretty much completed all the coast of Anglesey for me. I must do it as a continuous paddle one day.

A cool northerly wind greeted us as we left the shelter of the bay and the small choppy swell gave a bit of interest. We made our way round under the cliffs with the intrusive noise of the racing circuit just above us. The tide wasn't right for us to go in and paddle round the church of St Cwyfan on the island of Cribinau, so we stayed further out to sea to cut the bay off.

A tight squeeze through the channel separating Carreg-y-trai from the mainland saw us reach much more sheltered waters and a change of scenery. The coastline opened up into a broad sandy bay surrounded by low cliffs and dunes.

We passed another couple of rocky headlands and made our way over to Ynys Llanddwyn where we planned to stop for lunch and to wait for the tide to turn so we could enter the Menai Straits. I've never explored the small island before, and it is a fascinating place with its old cottages and the other buildings from the now deserted settlement.

Suitably refreshed we plotted a course across Llanddwyn bay trying to keep far enough out to not get grounded on the sandbanks. The shallow water caused a few moments of excitement as it caused the small waves to break and a circuitous route saw us enter the Straits and pass Fort Belan that guards the entrance.

The channel keeps to the southern side of the Straits so since we passed close to Caernarfon we decided to go up the river to have a look at the impressive castle built by Edward I.

With the tide now flooding into the straits we were hoping it would soon cover the sandbank that blocks direct access to the road in front of the Sea Zoo and luckily a zig-zag channel was navigable to allow us to get close to the cars.

A fine paddle of approximately 26km.

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