An atmospheric trip to The Skerries, from Cemlyn, with Ed. The spring ebbing tide and force 4 southerly winds provided wonderful sea conditions, particularly the superb surf at Carmel Rocks. At The Skerries the seals were as playful as ever and the puffins were back for the nesting season.
Saturday 17 February was a sunny day with a playful swell hitting the westerly shore. The tidal range was in the spring end of the spectrum and the wind was around force 4 from the South, backing West later in the day. The Ynys Gybi (Holy Island) circumnavigation seemed like a good plan.
Roger Chandler’s group on their way out to Rhoscolyn Beacon
A lovely journey from Menai Bridge to Plas Newydd. We had lots of fun playing with the current at the Menai Suspension Bridge, Swellies Pole and Ynys Gorad Goch before cruising to Plas Newydd and back to Menai Bridge. There was only an 8.6m tidal height at Liverpool. Nevertheless, plenty of intertidal life was exposed in this interestingly biodiverse coastline.
Ynysoedd y Moelrhoniaid (Island of the Bald headed grey seal) or the Skerries.
Richard J, Paul and Steve.
What a great way to spend a cold Monday in February! HW (Liv) was 1438 (9.1m) and the flood runs until 1353. We put on at the beautiful bay of Porth Swtan (Swtan is a Whiting in Welsh) at 1225 and ferried to the Island. It’s an interesting ferry. Using transits, we could feel areas of faster/ slower water. The crossing took just under an hour. It’s always magical to arrive at the Skerries. Inquisitive seals are everywhere and the island certainly lives up to its Welsh name!
All day, the quality of light was amazing. Refractions causing distant objects to appear as if floating. However, the real ‘jewel’ of the day was an amazing view of Isle of Man. It would have been an excellent day for this crossing! But there again, all three of us were recovering from the lurgy, so maybe not.
We lingered for lunch and simply gazing at the view until cold prompted movement. Or maybe it was seeing the ebb tide increasing around Gull Rock? We paddled around the island, now feeling some considerable foce in the ebb. Another ferry took us across to Ynys y Fydlyn and one of our favourite areas of sea cliff and Coast. And so back to the vehicles.
When a wet, windy foul weather day, turns out to be a great day!
Forecast for Coastal Waters around Anglesey on Saturday suggested rain, winds (WSW/W, F6). They weren’t wrong. The drive onto Anglesey was miserable…. And Paul’s wipers had a temporary ‘moment’, deciding to stop working! Holyhead Truckstop was the usual oasis and we bumped into Jim Krawiecki and his group who were heading off to Trearddur Bay to do some rescue practice. We felt wet enough already.
The coffee and humour had worked it’s wonderful ways as we headed to Porth Llechog ( Bull Bay). And enthusiasm was back to normal as we got on the water, hiding (too hot) in dry suits and working our way under the rocks and cliffs of the most Northerly mainland of Wales. Great paddling and with low tide, stunning environment and Geology.
Lunch was at Porth Wen, commonly known as ‘The Brickworks’. In Victorian times they made bricks here. Rather special bricks using local quartzite. These bricks were not only hard but able to withstand very high temperatures, essential to line the industrial furnaces of the time for the manufacture of steel. All interesting stuff but lost to the humour of friends Barry Shaw and James Stevenson who were with a group!
Launching was delayed as Geth rooted out a ‘Sea Squirt’, so named because they squirt out water when disturbed and more closely related to vertebrates like us than invertebrates. We were now chilly so headed West. Once out of the Bay we were paddling into the full strength of the wind. We paddled West of Middle Mouse before starting a ‘ferry’ out to the island. As we entered the eddy line, a call from Paul as a Common Dolphin (http://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/common-dolphin/) was racing and turning just behind my kayak. Wonderful!
The ‘ferry’ became somewhat technical as we neared the island. Strong wind, clapotis and tide race joined forces to make quite tough paddling. The North side of the island was a blast. Fast surf waves and wind behind! The GPS track would be spaghetti as we repeated ‘runs’. All with the fabulous backdrop views of the North Coast.
Return to Bull Bay with wind behind and the flood tide was very quick. Even the rain had stopped. Yet again, a foul day turned out to be a great day!