Sunday, 11 March 2012

Fog bound

Once again on the high seas with Stuart and Taran. The plan was pretty open - just meet at Llantwit and paddle down channel on the ebbing tide, to return on the flood. On arrival at Llantwit I realized there was another dimension to the days adventure - thick fog!

Paddlers in the mist.

We hugged the coast, initially exploring the caves along the Heritage Coast. Tides are currently pretty big and at Nash Point we were whisked along by the tide, clocking 12-14kph at one point.

After a bit we arrived at Witches Point where we hugged the rocks and I inadvertently found a fishermans line - oops sorry! Taran unhooked the line from the front of my boat. Around the corner and we are surprisingly virtually on Southerndown beach. A few small waves but nothing like the helter skelter experience I had last time I was here.

Southerdown with Witches Point vaguely visible in the background.

After some food and a pee we move on following a GPS bearing to Tusker Rock. I'm excited at the thought of visiting here. Reading other local seakayaer blogs I now knew there was some quite sizable wreckage on the rock. The old sea diver is still in me and I've always been drawn by the mystery and history of such wrecks.

Soon Tusker emerges from the mist and with it the remains of what is thought to be the SS Steepholm. Quite a bit of scrap still clings to the rock including the remains of hull plates, winches, parts of the engine and propeller and a large boiler. Wandering on this rock on a low tide in the fog is also quite surreal.

The remains of the SS Steepholms boiler firmly located in a gully on tusker rock

Time is pressing and we paddle onward. Stuart seems keen to locate the Nash sand bank on the return. However we have a brief interlude as we realise a dark shape is following Taran - turns out to be a large Bull seal who tempts us with photo opportunities, only to disappear before we can take the shot, although Stuart does manage one!

A bit of wandering trying to follow bearings in the featureless mist and the Nash bank suddenly appears. Another surreal experience as we have a quick explore of the sand bank, but the tide is racing in and its onwards, following the bank until it disappears.

On the Nash bank
Again the flow of the tide around Nash Point picks us up. Taran goes for a frantic paddle to reach the Nash Buoy itself which appears out of the mist, then onwards back to Llantwit. We keep in vague sight of a surf line, though the swell has picked up. Some shapes appear in the mist - surfers - we're back at Llantwit beach. A quick surf to shore and and we're back..... well almost. the tide is very low and we have a looong carry back to the carpark.......

And whats happens once changed? The fog clears and the sun comes out! Cheers chaps - great trip again!


  1. You've beaten me to it again mate, two places on the list I haven't quite managed to do yet :) very atmospheric indeed.

  2. Be happy to go back out there Noel - especially to see the view!