Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas eve and all at sea!

Christmas is kinda frustrating. For me a nice period off work, but limited in adventure potential by the demands of family and socializing!

Last Christmas tho' was pretty amazing - the snow and ice was still with us and Christmas day itself was blue skies and icy cold.
Pen y Fan, Christmas day 2010. Emily about to ski back down.

Alas this year somewhat different - mild, damp and very green...... However on Christmas eve I managed to trade in some of those family 'brownie points' for a seapaddle to Flatholm Island with paddling chums Taran and Stuart.

Stuart in festive spirit!
Our start was about an hour prior to low tide from Penarth seafront, with Stuart in festive attire! The day was forecast to be around F5 - 7 but fortunately it didn't get that rough, although the wind and a confused sea state did make sections of the crossing somewhat bouncy. There was also the added bonus of keeping an eye out for a random breaking wave side-swiping you! We aimed somewhat left of the Island and fortunately our guesstimate angling around tide, wind and seastate worked to see us hit the island.
Penarth seafront. Photo by Taran

On the paddle out.
Admiring big guns!

Taran as we leave Flatholm.
Once on Flatholm we had a bit of an amble around but on the island the wind chill definitely had more bite and we soon had the desire to get out and paddle to warm up again.

The tide was starting to turn to the flood so we aimed at Lavernock point and started our paddle back to Penarth. In the distance a large buoy always to our right until we get close and suddenly its on the left as the tidal current pushes us up the estuary. A last effort and a calmer sea state sees our arrival back on the muddy Penarth fore.

An excellent few hours spent in good company. It also shows the fabulous places and adventure that exist on our door step. Flatholm is only a few miles off shore but given the nature of the Bristol Channel and our weather, it's a trip that is foolish to underestimate.

No comments:

Post a Comment