So here we go, the Anglesey circumnavigation. The big plan with this trip was to highlight the beauty of the area that would be lost to the public should there ever be a nuclear accident at the new proposed Wylfa power station.
As a giudeline the exclusion zone around Fukushima is 20KM (12miles) though the nuclear contamination has spread much further.
I was meeting up with Bruce Waddecar for this trip & we had allowed upto 4 days for the journey.
We met at Trearddur Bay but decided it was far too windy there to start so we headed to Cemaes Bay the night before the start & agreed to set off at 09:00 following the tide East. I had worked out a plan A, B & C for the first couple of days as Bruce was recovering from a bad cold.
We’ll just get on the water & see what happens.
Day 1. So the when the big day arrived we rose early from our camper vans & was greeted by a stiff breeze at Cemaes, we decide to go anyway & didnt evan discuss not going for it. We loaded the kayaks, a new for Bruce & I think he was wondering wether his would still float?
A little after 09:00 we were underway & straight into some choppy water as we left the shelter of the bay.
It was a good start, the wind was stiff but on our backs & we were flying along reaching Point Lynas in just a smidge over an hour. From here however it went downhill as were were getting blown offshore & battling a headwind to reach the shelter of the cliffs by Freshwater Bay.
Time for a reality check! We wanted to paddle offshore & use the current to swing us around the Island to our prefrred campspot at Lleiniog on the Menai but that clearly wasnt possable, time for plan B.
We decided to hug the shore & had to paddle very hard to reach Traeth yr Ora where we took a lunch break. The headwind into the beach really sucked! Continuing on we decided to hug the shore & see how we go, the thought of an early camp in my mind. We pulled in again at Traeth Bychan just South of Moelfre & decided to sit out the wind or set camp, the wind was forecast to die down a little so we could have tea here & paddle into the evening if needed?
In the end it was needed, our deadline for the turn of the tide at Penmon Point was passed but we could still reach & set camp on the North side of the point which would put us in a great position for day two. It wasn’t an easy paddle however, the wind was still preasant & really made its presense felt as we cut the corner paddling offshore across Red Wharf Bay. It became really quite rough out there with plenty of surfing but the wind would catch the boat & turn me inshore whenever I caught a wave, it was very frustrating but things soon calmed down again as we reached the other side of the bay & we had a gentle paddle onto our campspot at Penmon.
The Start at Cemaes Bay.
My paddling partner for the trip Bruce Waddecar, we've not met before so it should be interesting.
A bit choppy leaving the bay.
Bruces face when I told him how many miles I expected :P
Passing Middle Mouse,
And the Brickworks.
A breif stop near Freshwater Bay.
Approaching Ynys Dulas.
Traeth yr Ora.
Moelfre Lifeboat station.
A well needed & very long break at Traeth Bychan.
Benllech sand prior to crossing Red Wharf Bay. Looks OK from here :oS
Penmon come into view.
Trwyn Du lighthouse.
Bruce showing me his favourite position ;)
Day 2. More hard work today, we were up at 3AM to catch the tide through the Menai with a plan to stop at Abermenai Point & have a big break/snooze?
I was very chirpy about being up so early & really looking forward to the day, that was soon to change!
We got packed & undeway & headed into the Menai & a headwind, this was gonna be a slog despite the fast currents pushing us on. To add to this Bruce wasn’t feeling so great clearly not over his cold. I suggested that we should stop just past the Swellies & set camp, if he feels better later we could catch the evening tide out of the Menai & set camp in the dunes somewhere along the South Western side of the island & thats exactly what we did.
We both got some sleep, rest, coffee & food, lots of food getting refueled ready for later.
16:00 & we were off again shooting along on the fast currents & making Abermenai Point in no time at all. A very welcome sight, we were making progress.
We pushed on to Lladdwyn but now it was my turn to be tired, I could have pushed on but I wanted to save energy for day 3 so I suggested we set camp just North of the Island in the dunes. A very beautiful spot indeed despite the rain :)
Approaching the Swellies with a stiff headwind.
The suspension bridge comes into view.
Britannia Bridge (I think?).
Home sweet home, we set camp just under the second bridge in the small nature reserve there. It was a lovely & most welcome spot to sleep.
16:00 & getting ready to go again.
Heading for camp.
Home for the night, lovely evan in the rain.
Day 3. The tide at Lladdwyn turns much later than on the Menai so no 3AM start for us today, a lazy 8AM would do nicely.
We wanted to make up some miles today, maybe evan finish, we would see? We stayed well offshore all the way to Rhoscolyn using as much of the fast tidal streams as we could though the final few miles really sucked & I was getting very hungary. I suggested we stop at Trearddur Bay for water & provisions before continuing, it meant dropping out of the tide & losing time but this trip isn’t a race, its supposed to be fun.
At Trearddur Bay I scoff a tin of cold baked beans & a pack of jammie dodgers & was feeling good to go.
Next was what was possably the crux of the trip, Penrhyn Mawr & the Stacks.
Penrhyn Mawr was pretty big & messy & certainly got my hearbeat up a few notches, Bruce didnt seem worried?
Next was the Stacks & they were dead flat, looks like we’ll make it.
From North Stack Bruce wanted to cross the 10KM into a headwind to Church Bay back on Anglesey. I really wasnt keen, I felt fresh but knew that could change & we had been paddling all day. From some quick calculations I worked out it would take a couple of hours, we gave it a go & it went well enough but I was right about the time to cross, double what it should have taken.
From Church Bay we both had an idea where to camp, they sounded similar though different, just turns out I had the name wrong! Ynys y Fydlyn just 3KM North was to be our home for the night & what a home, the best camp spot yet!
Steve launching (literally) for the days paddle.
Staying well offshore to catch the current.
Finally reaching Rhoscolyn.
The tail end of Penrhyn Mawr, I was keeping hold of the paddle during the bumpier bits!
Ynys y Fydlyn.
Skerries in the distance.
Day 4. We had a lovely night at Ynys y Fydlyn & a campfire too thanks to Bruce Mears.
The morning was equally as lazy as there was no need to rush as the tide turned around midday. Our plan was to kill time with a diversion to the Skerries, a pretty awesome plan & a first for Bruce.
We set off earlier than needed & just pottered around in the rocks & caves enjoying the rather exceptional landscape around Carmel Head.
After some um’ing & ah’ing & looking at watches & tidal flow we went for it taking a guesstimate angle out to the Skerries. Bruce went wide & I aimed for a rather rude looking cloud as I thought it a good omen. As it happens the rude cloud was good, just 50 metres short & a wee push along the rocks to make it into the bay.
The wildlife throughout the trip has been superb but the Skerries is evan better, with lots of Seals, Jellies, Terns & Puffins, its a magical place.
We had a good couple of hours relaxing on the Island, contemplating the journey we’ve had & looking forward to the paddle back.
The return trip to Cemaes was very uneventful, mirror sea’s & little evidence of the fast currents the area is known for. I was enjoying using transits to work out my position & guesstimate our arrival time, good 5 star practice.
I passed the hideous blot on the landscape that is the power station at Wylfa & paddled unceromonially into Cemaes ending the trip with a victory roll.
Time to go get the vans.
Waking to a beautiful morning.
And clear sea's.
And caves :)
eyeing up our next destination.
Arriving at the Skerries.
A Lions Mane jelliy fish.
Lots & Lots of wildlife,
And evan more wildlife ;)
The paddle back, not too far.
Blot on the landscape & a dangerous one at that!
Weeeeee, bubble bath :)
Arriving at Cemaes with some nice clean renewable energy beacons to greet us.
Cheesy finish line shot :)
In conclusion I would say it was a fantastic trip & highly recomend it to other sea kayakers.
I think we’ve shown the beauty & variety of this magical island, Ynys Mon, the Druids Isle.
I dont beleive nuclear power has a future & certainly not in a place of outstanding natural beauty. Those who condone nuclear as a source of power do so selfishly for their own conveiniance & lifestyle & those who work in the industry gamble with their childrens futures for the sake of an income leaving a legecy of waste behind them.
Paddling into Cemaes I was at least heartened to see the future in the form of clean renewable energy standing proud on the horizon. That conbined with less greed has to be the way forward.
Time to look forward to the next adventure :)