Welcome To Go Sea Kayak

Welcome To The Go Sea Kayak Blog...
This Blog is A Record Of My Personal Adventures And Wonderful Kayaking Lifestyle. It Is Also A Taster Of What You Can Expect If You're Adventurous Enough To Tag Along. Why Not Get In Touch And Join One Of Go Sea Kayaks Guided Trips On The Beautiful Mediterranean Island Of Sardinia, You Won't Regret it!

Saturday, 31 March 2012

40 Year Old Virgin...

Back on a familiar route today & taking my mate Gareth who's a virgin to Flat Holm & Steep Holm.
Arriving at Sully it was clear that the conditions were fantastic, should be an easy paddle this.
I took a conservative ferry angle to reach the Steep Holm & got there without any dramas.
We pull the boats up the beach as the tide is still flooding & we want to explore.
Note the private property plaque on the right, Gareth obviously missed this :D
 It was worth it though for a view like this.
 The Island is now home to thousands of Gulls ready to breed.
 I think the Gulls help make this place special, despite one pooping on me :(

We don't linger too long & leave it time to catch slack water across to Flat Holm. There was very little tide & no aiming off required, easy sailing :)

Time for another wander as I look for different compositions in a very familiar landscape.
 More Gulls :)
We head back to Sully for some rolling & silliness in the kayaks. I've been doing a lot of filming on this trip with the new Go Pro & also my new Nikon Camera so I'll be posting a video of this trip soon. It would be nice to show non kayakers just what they are missing & maybe inspire some other kayakers to get out here. Fingers crossed :D
About 12 miles all in...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Pembrokeshire Weekend - Day 2

After a very welcome & heavy sleep we woke to yet another gorgeous day if a little breezy.
My arm pits had scabbed up a bit overnight & part of my t shirt had stuck to the scabs, a quick tug & intake of breath sorted that out.

Martyn said he would arrive about midnight & sleep in his car so Stuart grabs his camera to capture the 'shakey wakey', unfortunately Martyn was aware of our Mischievousness & foiled our plan by getting up earlier :(
We took a walk up to the top off the cliff to check out the conditions, it was quite choppy with decent swells & low visibility. we couldn't evan see the other side of St Brides Bay & we were due to paddle the 9 miles straight across to Martins Haven. We also had some concern of the conditions around Skomer, Skokholm & St Annes Head in the stiff South Easterly breeze so we decided after much debate to paddle somewhere else.
We chose to accept the offer of a lift from Martyn & head to Pwyllgwaelod to explore the North coast a bit more, virgin territory for Martyn & we were mostly in the lee of the wind up here. We spotted Mike Mayberrys van outside a cafe in Fishguard on the way & popped in to interrupt his coaching speech no doubt & say hi. My mate Gareth was one of his students today & doing his three star which I glad to say he passed.

We bumped into the guys on the beach too, Mikes group would be going West & me Stuart & Martin were to explore East of Dinas Head.
It was turning out to be a scorcher today so I left the cag off & paddled in my rash vest hoping that if I stayed dry my arms would be ok?
Paddling out around Dinas Head we pass some of the very best coastal scenery in the UK.
With dramatic cliffs, rocks & caves to explore & all with the sun beating down :)

Stuart heads off into a cave on dinas Head, a pretty impressive one with a low roof. Lets hope a big swell doesn't run in :D
We all wanted to find the Witches Cauldron so we head across to the other side of Newport Bay, a two mile crossing into a stiff wind slightly to our right.
Caught them stuffing their faces :)
Just around the corner we meet some locals.

Stuart & Martyn unaware they were being watched.
Not finding the cauldron we head back felling pretty smug with the fab paddle we've had. We later found out that if we'd carried on just a mile more we would of found it. Can't say I'm bothered, just another reason to go back.

I learnt whilst rock hopping on the way back that you can get stoppers on the sea too. I paddled through a gap just as swell ran through. The water flowed over & down a slanting rock just like a manmade weir leaving me pinned in the stopper as the water soaked me. When it let go I then got pushed over to rocks but managed to get my head down & make a hasty retreat grinning at my close call.
Now with a wet rash vest my armpits were really stinging again so I paddled back topless in the wonderful sunshine.
I guess rolling practice was cancelled :)

I had a great weekend & it was fab to see so many familiar faces so far out West.

Pembrokeshire Weekend - Day 1

I wanted to do something a bit special this weekend so arranged to meet Stuart in Pembrokeshire with the intention of leaving one van a long way away & paddling back to it with a camp in between.
I decided that we should paddle from Pwyllgwaelod on Dinas Head all the way back to Freshwater East but after some discussion we settled on finishing at Dale.  
We arrived on Friday evening at Pwyllgwaelod in unseasonably warm weather. We had a very chilled out night in the quiet of the Bay in preparation for some decent milage the next day.
And what a day, the conditions were almost perfect. I say almost as there was a bloody strong breeze, on our backs mostly but it did keep changing which saw the skeg being repositioned or withdrawn throughout the day.
The first section from Pwyllgwaelod saw us surfing in following seas towards Strumble Head.
Stuart leads the way.
And is looking pretty smug. He's wanted to paddle here fore sometime. well, he's either smug or pleased the overfalls aren't running?
Though there was a little action.
Looking back at 'must do' for sea kayakers, a lovely spot.
We pull into Abercastle for a quick break, this almost became a feature of the day, I must be getting old?

A lovely cave at the entrance to Abercastle.
Back on the water & counting down the miles to St Davids. We would paddle further than St Davids but felt that as we would be turning South there, that it would be a turing point, literally, to our journey.
Stuart up ahead made a dash for shore here, the reason being a rather huge overfall to our right. Can't say I blame him as I followed his lead (LOL).
Think we were approaching Abereiddy here?
Another quick break on the last beach we could land on before rounding St Davids Head.
And then we were off heading into the fast currents of St Davids & rather enjoying the easy speed. Nearing the head we were treated to a pod of Dolphins swimming into the current though my attempts to photograph proved futile.
I was wondering by now what the wind on tide conditions would be like as we started to head South into the wind.
The answer was quite lively. I took this after I was through the worst of it.
Just before heading into the beach we bump into a group of kayakers doing their 5 star training & a chance for me to meet Richard from the white water centre in Cardiff.
We pulled into Porth Melgan for yet another break. I was starting to feel a bit tired but worse was the chaffing under my arms pits from my wet rash vest,  it was really starting to sting but we couldn't stop yet. We should at least reach St Brides Bay before stopping.
We plough on towards Ramsey Sound where I suggest heading to Porth Clais to set camp, I was really suffering now & wanted to get off the water.
The last few miles were really tough for me & the conditions got really quite rough as we turned into St Brides Bay, some of the swells were about 10 foot & got alarmingly steep near to the rocks. Evan with sore arm pits it was still quite entertaining.
I stripped off real quick once we were on dry land glad to no longer have salty wet clothes stinging my skin :D
It was a fab camp spot & not long after setting up a group of sea kayakers turn up, it was the same group we saw earlier & I was surprise to see Andy Stamp with them. I know Andy from my own 5 star training up on Skye & a bloody good teacher he is too.
Later that night our crazy friend (Martyn) from Sheffield agrees to drive down that night & join us on the water tomorrow. Thats a 300'ish mile trip for a day paddle, pretty hardcore!
Lets hope its a good day :)
About 25 miles in all...