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So heres how it is, I fancied a frosty dawn paddle out to the Holm Islands whilst Stuart, Eurion & Elan were off to Weston Super Mare & planning to met up later than I wanted to so we arranged to meet up at Steep Holm for me to join them to Weston, well that was the plan?
Noel joined our group too & decided to paddle out with me so we met up at a very cold Sully car park & got ready to hit the water for 0800, half hour later than planned, ooops, I was so slow getting ready!
The crisp pre dawn light was started to kick in so we left the head torches behind.
And push off into some very calm seas.
I love being right & setting off at pre dawn was proving to be a very good idea indeed :)
Our destination of Steep Holm is 6.5 miles offshore & in the middle of the image. Just behind Noels boat is Flat Holm, we'll be visiting that later. The lump of rock between the Islands is Brean Down, I know it looks like an Island but its actually part of the English mainland, a continuation of the Mendip hills & made of the same rock as Steep Holm.
One of life's special moments!
About 80 minutes after launching we reach Steep Holm & the Southern side is bathed in gorgeous dawn light.
We head for the beach to wait for Stu & the others.
What I didn't know was that there was a message on my phone (back in my van) asking us to meet the boys at Weston as they were bypassing the Islands (whoops!)
By 1100 we figured they weren't coming & decided to push on, not for Weston but Flat Holm. We were now fancying a lazier day :)
We take a little break in the lee of Holm Middle Buoy as theres still some tide running.
Does the camera never lie? It looks warm & sunny here but trust me, it isn't!
Would be rude not to paddle into the cave :)
After a pleasant walk around the Island we start our paddle back to the mainland after a pretty awesome day out!
It was now lovely & warm at Sully so I was Me & Noel were in no rush to leave! We bumped into our mate Chris too so sat on the wall chatting.
Eventually these muppets showed up after there channel crossing and they all had a pretty awesome day too :)
Just a quickie this one & its more about my lifestyle as opposed to the paddle. I've been working for a van driving agency leading up to xmas & not doing any camping or many paddles which sucks big time! So this is me getting back to my lifestyle, camping in my van & going out for fun in the kayak :)
For this particular paddle I grabbed my old 70's Nordkapp as I've just finished fitting the seat & thigh grips which lock me into the kayak lovely, trouble is, I get very bad dead legs so I need to look at the fitting out a bit more?
On the plus side she catches waves really easily & rolls like a dream which inspired me to tackle some tasty waves on the paddle back despite my dead legs!
Not many pics today though, I was just having fun & getting a feel for the boat ;)
The view I woke up to, even grey its still heartwarming :)
Pitch for the night :)
Noel looking smug in his fancy new drysuit ;)
Approaching Nells Point Coastwatch Station.
A wee leg stretch at Jacksons Bay. I could even stand without using my boat for support (LOL).
A lively bit of tide race action to play in on the way back :)
I Headed out to Nells Point tide race again with some friends on the weekend. The tides were neaps but the winds were strong & the coastwatch station recorded a top speed just one knot shy of force 8 whilst we were out there! The paddle back to the van was into the wind & quite a slog!
Great day though!
Paddlers were me, Taran Tyla, Stuart Yendle, Sean Hurrel & Gareth Jenkins....
Music by the awesome Spineshank :)
So you may be wondering about the fanciful title on this post? It certainly could be due to the very unseasonably warm weather we were having for the last day of November, but no. Wordsworth beautiful poem came into my mind as I was paddling as just a few hours earlier I was resolved to paddle solo out to Flat Holm but Stuart text me to see whats occurring & I found myself having company for the trip :) The Stu text back to see if Gareth could come too & then at the beach I meet Rob who tells me that Hywyl is coming too, they weren't aware of mine & Stu's trip it was just a coincidence that they planned the same trip & were meeting at the same time, so thats why the poem came into my head :)
I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high o'er vales & hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden Daffodils
Not sure what the guys will feel being compared to Daffodils?
As you can see the weather was beautiful & very warm considering that the following day is the first of December!
We head out of Sully with a little tide flowing over the causeway, not much though as we're on neap tides with a lovely half moon due to rise later in the journey.
This was the first time I've met Gareth & he's a virgin too!
Island virgin that is!
Our flotilla head off into the wild brown yonder.
Go Pro remote Taran style, this is on my back deck too!
Getting back in the seat can be tricky, glad theres no swell!
My island solitude, except I've a load of Daffs tagging along now :)
Nice to see the island getting bigger.
Thats Brean Down on the left & Steep Holm on the right, we weren't going there today.
The famous brown waters of the Severn :)
Thats Cardiff in the distance.
Tea & biccies time :)
It was sooo calm today that I was able to use my stove right out in the open with no wind shield!
After a lovely break in the warm sunshine & with another virgin broken in we start to head back to the boats.
For a quick seal launch down the beach.
I take a look at the arch but the tide is too high & I just wont fit through!
Not the best pic but look closely & you can see a beautiful half moon rising :)
We stop at the Wolves North Cardinal mark for a gander.
This wee chap is a Turnstone, having some chill time.
Back at Sully & we finish a really perfect day with a few eskimo rolls which wasn't the best idea! The sea wasn't quite as warm as the air!