The Delphin MKII 155 Corelite X at Penrhyn Mawr and the Stacks

Stacks map

29 July  Porthdafarch – South Stack, via Penrhyn Mawr, with Ed Loffill

2 August  Soldiers Point – South Stack, via North Stack with Ed Loffill and Justine Curgenven

Sea kayak sailing/surfing at Penrhyn Mawr

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Sea kayak sailing/surfing at South Stack

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The sail was taken down for surfing steeper waves at South Stack

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The sail back up to surf closely past South Stack’s headland

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Beam reach sailing back to Porthdafarch

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South Stack with Ed and Justine 

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South Stack Surf

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The Delphin MKII Corelite X

The biggest improvement I found in the Delphin MKII Corelite X is the extra speed and responsiveness it has in surf. This is thanks largely to the greater stiffness in the plastic construction. The cockpit has also been improved to provide better comfort and connectivity.  The day hatch is a welcome addition, as are the sailing fittings.  In summary, the Delphin MKII Corelite X has all of the great features of the original Delphin but with some very useful additions/refinements and stiffer plastic for even more fun surfing.

Sea Kayak Sailing in Tideraces

It is a bit of a balance whether/or not to deploy the sail in a tiderace. When the waves are not particularly steep the addition of a sail makes catching waves far easier, increasing the number of surfable waves and the length of the runs. At some point the balance between fun and fear will probably tip towards fear, or at the very least uncomfortableness. It is now time to take the sail down as the surf has steepened up and you probably don’t need any more help catching the waves.

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Porth Dafarch to The Skerries in a surfski

DSCF2109After paddling the Pyranha Octane surfski on Llyn Padarn I wanted to try it out at sea in wind, waves and moving water. My kayaking buddies for this trip were Ed and Abi Loffil.

Porthdafarch Skerries Map

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The Pyranha Octane with the Flat Earth Sail fitted

Ed and Abi had a head start on the outward leg so I followed them 20 minutes after their departure. This leg had up to 10 knots of southerly wind with a slightly post spring tidal current to propel us on the flooding tide to The Skerries. Time of leg – 1.5 hrs.

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Approaching Penrhyn Mawr

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Approaching the middle race of Penrhyn Mawr

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South Stack

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Rush hour in Holyhead Bay

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The Skerries

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Departing The Skerries

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Surfing circuits at The Skerries

The return leg had 10-17 knots of southerly wind against the south flowing ebb tide. Time of leg – 3 hrs.

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The rough journey back south

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North Stack

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Taking a rest at South Stack

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Sailing home to Porth Dafarch

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The team returned at Porth Dafarch with our paddling friend Jan

Initial thoughts on the Octane

Previous to receiving the Octane I had never paddled a surfski. The closest speedy boat I had experienced to compare it to is the Rockpool Taran. The Octane, like the Taran, is great fun to paddle fast, especially in surf. At speed the surf ski is particularly stable, locking into its watery path. Its stability seemed further enhanced with the addition of the Flat Earth Sail, as this gave more propulsion. It is even better to sail than the equivalent P&H Scorpio or Delphin sailing kayaks as it is super quick and responsive to the rudder. With its open cockpit it felt a lot like a modern sailing dinghy, especially with the gurgling sound of the self-bailer.

Paddling downwind with swell was far, far better than the reverse into wind and waves. The former situation gave much greater speed than the accompanying sea kayaks, whereas into wind and swell the surfski was only marginally quicker, despite lots more effort from my core muscles. I probably need to improve my technique in these conditions.

The Octane is a very positive boat. It rewards good posture and technique with better performance. This feedback is proving really useful as I try to get better at paddling a surf ski.

Next time I want to try some more downwind runs!

Geth

www.seakayakingwales.com

 

5 September, The Stacks, Anglesey

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More fun sea kayaking around The Stacks on a beautiful sunny day.  Neap flooding tide with westerly light wind and swell producing some great surfing conditions.

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Justine, Ed and Paul at Penrhyn Mawr tiderace.

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Ed.

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Paul.

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Geth.

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Justine taking pictures at Penrhyn Mawr.

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South stack tide race providing lively surf on the flood.

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North Stack tiderace.

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Rich at North Stack.

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Paul enjoying the journey back to Porth Dafarch from North Stack.

Photographs provided by Justine.

1 August 2015, The Stacks, Anglesey

A selection of photographs from our trip from Porth Dafarch to North Stack and back.  Spring tide, ebbing, SW force 4 wind.

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South Stack Lighthouse on Ynys Lawd.

Stacks map

http://www.canoekayak.co.uk/userfiles/file/08Stacks.pdf

For a route description click on the above link (taken from Jim Krawiecki & Andy Biggs book – Welsh Sea Kayaking Fifty Great Sea Kayak Voyages.

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Penrhyn Mawr at high water.

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Tidal rapids at the mouth of Abraham’s Bosom.

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Tidal rapids at the mouth of Abraham’s Bosom.

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Fantastic channels to explore.

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Climbers at Castell Elen.

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Cave/arch just beyond Ynys Lawd/South Stack.

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Paul exiting the arch.

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Recently collapsed rock covering a channel in Gogarth Bay.

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Gogarth Bay.

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Wen Zawn – famous for the Dream of White Horses (graded HVS 5b) rock climb.

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North Stack and Parliament Cave.

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Green waves at North Stack.

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Yippee!!

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Rough water on leaving North Stack.

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Welcome to South Stack tiderace.

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Even better surfing waves.

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Yippee!!

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Time to leave the race.

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Porpoise spotting off Abraham’s Bosom.

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Returning home through Penrhyn Mawr shoreline at low tide.

Paddling today were: Paul, Ed and Geth.

21 March 2015, Traversing Bardsey Sound – Porth Oer to Aberdaron

DSC_0129              Porth Oer

The SKW team returned to Bardsey Sound on 21 March to enjoy a beautiful day of paddling on one of the biggest tides of the year.  Our launching point was Porth Oer (Whistling Sands), famous for it’s squeaky sand underfoot.  Along with many of the other North Coast Inlets/beaches, Porth Oer once used to facilitate the import and export of produce to and from the Llŷn agricultural industry.  This coast was once a motorway of cargo boats and ships.  In difficult sailing conditions, a great many of these vessels foundered, in rough conditions, on the rocky coastline.  The most famous of these shipwrecks was the whisky laden “Stuart”, which grounded in a storm at Porth Tŷ Mawr in 1901 without loss of life.  Hidden whisky bottles are still being discovered nearby, North East of Porth Oer!

DSC_0119 Departing Porth Oer

DSC_0123        The stunning coastline South West of Porth Oer

Further down the coast, towards Bardsey Sound, fun tidal rapids could be played on.  These tideraces were also easy to avoid on the inside, adjacent to the shoreline.  At the Braich Y Pwll tiderace we shared the whitewater and surf with Dolphins.

Following lunch at Porth Felen, in Bardsey Sound, the team progressed on to Aberdaron via the lovely Gwylan-Bach and Gwylan-Fawr Islands.

DSC_0145  Aberdaron, viewed from Pen Y Cil

DSC_0116  Paddling on this day were… from left to right: Paul, Baggy, Geth, Ed and Richard.

14 March 2015, Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli)

This was the SKW team’s first visit of 2015 to Bardsey Island, “the island in the currents” and of 20,000 saints.

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Bardsey Island on a sunnier day

Our trip started and finished from the former shipbuilding centre and industrial port village of Aberdaron.  Also known as the “Lands End of Wales”, Aberdaron used to be a busy port for exporting the local mining and agricultural industries’ produce.  It now prospers from its natural beauty and has a thriving tourism industry.

We were treated to a beautiful chilly spring day, with sunshine interspersed between cloudy spells.  Some fun tidal rapid conditions were found on our outward journey at the Pen Y Cil mainland corner and along the eastern shore of Bardsey Island.  These were caused by the flooding neap tidal currents, passing along the respective shorelines, and the interferance from the easterly breeze.  Otherwise, it was a relatively easy passage in good company.

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Anxious water at Pen Y Cil with Bardsey Island offshore

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At Bardsey we caught up with the Porter family, who were just beginning to enjoy another busy lambing season on their island farm. Later, our walk up to the summit of Mynydd Enlli proved to be a great little excursion, whilst we waited for the flooding currents to subside.  Back at the little harbour we met another kayaking group; Brian, Chris and Will (http://runswithaxes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/suited-and-booted-for-bardsey.html) who had also paddled out from Aberdaron.

What an amazing trip! With…..from left to right: Paul, Geth, Ed, Rich and Abi.