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!

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Roll's & Rescues At Cardiff Bay...

Despite the rather parky weather a few of us from the 'Sea Kayak Cymru' Facebook Group, (Stuart, Kevin, James & Chris) decided to meet up on Saturday for a paddle in Cardiff Bay with the intention of practicing our rolls & rescues.
 Paddling across the Bay to Mermaid Quay.
 Coffee break? I wish!
 A little limbo to loosen our muscles.
Image By Stuart...
 Before we get wet, here I'm doing a clamber on deck :S
Image By Stuart...
And I volunteer for a x-rescue too :)
 Chris gracefully exiting his Delphin.
Kevin making love to his kayak :) We were all impressed with Kevin pulling off a roll earlier & making it look easy. It was his first roll outdoors. Well done mate ;D
After some cajoling we finally got James to test his new drysuit.
It was a pleasant enough couple of hours on the water but I think the parkyness of the water limited what we did a bit, (Brrrr!)...

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Dreaming Of Vectors...

5:00AM & my alarm raises me from my sleep & I rise excitedly as I'm looking forward to this trip, I'll be heading to Steep Holm in Darkness though it should be pretty light by the time I get there.
I've been practicing my tidal plans & vector diagrams for days now so that it becomes second nature to me, in readiness for my 5 star assessment. Trouble is that I've been doing the planning & vectors but not actually paddling them. After three months of paddling almost everyday working as a guide its fair to say my motivation is lacking a wee bit.
I'll be trying my new deck compass too so I'll leave the GPS switched off.
I didn't rush getting ready, I thought I'd left plenty of time but at a casual glance at the time I noticed I was cutting it a bit fine, (whoops). In fact I was about 15 minutes late getting on the water & would have to get keep a good pace if I'm to leave Steep Holm just as the tide turns to make the 3 Nautical Mile crossing to Flat Holm.
Behind me the full moon set the dappled clouds glowing & lit my way nicely during the darkest part of the trip. As the sun rose the horizon glowed like scrub fires held the hill alight.

I held my focus as best I could during this wonderful show & tried to concentrate on my bearing.

It getting on a bit time wise due to me being late. The original plan had no allowance for being behind schedule as that would mean getting up evan earlier, A plan B was needed so I turned for the East of the Island in the slackening tide as this would save me a good 10 minutes by not circumnavigating the Island from the West.
The last 15 minutes before landing were pretty tough, I was pushing hard to regain some time but the building following sea kept pushing me left & right as the waves caught the boat. I was sweating quite a bit when I landed. Good fitness training.
I didn't stop long on Steep Holm, 5 minutes tops as I needed to push on for Flat Holm before the tide really got going. I made good progress till the halfway buoy, ferrying very accurately but as I approached closer to the Island the tide gripped me more & more & I was noticeably losing ground.
Just 300 metres from the shore the tide really showed its hand, the race was kicking up some playful surfs & I was losing speed rapidly. With a 100 metres to go I was barely making 1KMH & really fighting to reach the Eastern side of Lighthouse point. I could have just took it easy & headed for the West of the Island letting the tide take me but I wanted to land on the Eastern Beach & was in a fighting mood.
I was breathing heavy & groaning as my tired arms fought for each metre. Occasional shouts of "Come On You Slag" to my kayak made little difference & it was clear I was going to loose the battle, but not the war!
I chose to let the tide push me past the wrong side of the headland as I knew that I could charge out of the eddy & push the short distance through the tide into the next bay. I lined myself up & went for it & I went from 1KMH to a heady 9.2KMH as I entered the back eddy of the sheltered bay. I could literally see the sea swirling.
Just one more headland to pass, Jackdaw Point & I'll make the East beach, I paddled into position & sat awestruck, it looked like the Menai Straight as the tide shot past me like a river. Hmmm, hope my arms got some oomph left.
I pulled into the flow & dug in hard hugging the cliff, if I drifted out I then I put my blade in the water & feathered the angle letting the flow pull me back over.
When I finally reached the shore I figured this should probably be a quick stop too, 10 minutes tops. Getting a good workout today :)
Leaving the Island the tide was really shifting now & the water level dropped about a foot through the gap at Castle Rock & was swirling all over the place, nice :)
To reach Sully in this flow I would have to aim almost to Penarth, effectively paddling very sideways. At least I was in no rush now, I just enjoyed, (as much as my tired body would let me) & got on with it.
I drifted just North of the Wolves but the bearing looked good & sure enough brought me to Sully with distance to spare.
The thought of tea & biscuits really kept me going on the last stretch. Bliss!
My Route Around Flat Holm...

                                          The Overall Route From Sully...

Sunday 21 October 2012

Wonderful Wales...

When Stuart messaged me with the offer of a free lift to Pembrokeshire coz I"m skint, it would of been stupid not to take him up on his offer.
So there I was, up at 05:30AM to get to Stuarts early on Saturday for the drive down.
Arriving at Newport Sands the conditions were perfecto :) We were meeting up with James, Gareth & Simon who got in touch via the Sea Kayak Cymru Facebook page.
With the car ferrying done we get on the water for what was soon to be one of the best days kayaking i've ever done!
First cave, this was to become a feature of the day & a very welcome one.
Waterfalls were plentiful too.
Framing Dinas Head in the far distance.
We carry on with the final destination of Poppit sands some 10 miles'ish away.
Stu spots a seal on thew beach.
And a big male comes over to tell Stu to piss off!
Stu & James looking small under the huge cliffs.
Bwn Bach Arch.
What I affectionately called the raining cave due to the water dripping down from the roof.
Time to find the Witches Cauldron a huge collapsed cave with several anti chambers.
Not in here?
This looks more promising.
Yep, Awesome!
A lone pup on the perfectly sheltered beach within the cave.
An amazing side chamber. I've previously explored here as best I could on foot & was itching to get down to this spot.
The main opening of the cave. Its pretty huge!
Hide & seek.
It actually led to a very magical cave. the Pagan name for this place seems very appropriate when you can enter these magical hidden places. I'm a very happy Pagan today :)
Moving on we head for Ceibwr Bay but first have to negotiate more caves & tunnels too.

After some awesome deep tunnels we emerge into the light once more to be confronted by the stacks at Ceibwr Bay.

Before we stop for lunch we have a play on a small cascade. I then head straight in for lunch but Stuart, Gareth & James check out a blowhole before coming in. You'll have to check Stuarts blog for those pics, they were pretty impressive!
Back on the water after a brief break & the scenery wasn't letting up at all, we're evan treated to some swell for playing around the rocks.

You can just make out Stu under this huge folded rock formation.

Still finding more caves to explore. Wish I had my head torch.

As we approach Poppit we pass Cardigan Island. Me & Stu will leave that for tomorrows paddle.
With no surf we make an easy landing & start looking for vantage points to take some pictures :)

Before the sodding long carry back to the car park & farewells.
After a cold night at Poppit Sands I awake to another stunning day & cant wait for the suns rays to rise over the horizon & warm my bones.
I slept in the tent, just the inner as the night was clear. I saw an amazing meteor last night, trailing smoke & flames & shooting very low, Magic!
Dawn at Poppit Sands.

Stuart still doesn't seem to understand camping? He's probably got a mirror in there too :s
Ready for day 2 & we had some surf to contend with.
After a brief play Stuart spots a lull, swaps roles with me & decides we should head out to the Island, evan though it means having to land through the surf again later. "Hey, I make the stupid decisions around here!"
we head out to Cardigan Island situated in Ceredigion, new territory for Stuart.
We pass the inside first. That cone shaped hill is Mwnt, a lovely beach.
On the seaward side its livelier with the swells running through.
I spot what looked like a sick seal. I stroke her back & she didn't flinch? It really looked like she was drawing her last breath? I then stroked her paw looking for a reaction & she wasn't bothered at all which was worrying. I drift a little & as I paddle back she springs to life baring her teeth which was a big relief for me, guess she might of just been snoozing?
We kept well wide of this spot, it was rising about 10-15 foot & then dropping 10-15 foot in a dramatic cascade. Don't want to be too close then!
We make an undramatic landing between sets at Poppit which was a relief as some of the swells were huge. Further out we could see the curve of the sea as the swells passed beneath us.
Another long carry to the van & coffee & biscuits & we were ready for the drive back to South Wales after a very awesome weekend.