Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Monday, September 28, 2015

Bardsey Ferry

I have been to Bardsey only three times before and that was allways with others leading the way. I have only a black-and-white copy of a chart and no detailed information on the currents in the sound. We start out of Aberdaron.

We first paddle all the way up the eddy along the south coast of the Llyn Peninsula. Races are visible in and across the sound. We cross to Bardsey at 240 degrees. First we are 'unexpectedly' going southwest, only to be explained by the eddy current initially bouncing wide off the southwest corner of the Llyn. The visible 'race' off the southwest corner just being the strong eddy hitting and merging with the main ebb flow. But soon thereafter we are swept southeastwards.

As soon as we are near the northeast corner of Bardsey I am surfing standing waves; against a current; a tide-race in the eddy off Bardsey. Going wider to get into the main flow again.

Off the southeast corner a nice small but rough race gets us into the landing spot on Bardsey. A tour boat drops off and picks up visitors. After a nice walk to the lighthouse we start on our return journey.

It is still ebbing, but for exactly how long we do not know (in the Sound). With a steady 45 degrees on the compass at some point it looks like we will definitively drop too low; transits are moving. The spring-tide ebb aparently is quite strong still. Maybe 45 degrees was a bit over-ambitious.

But as soon as we are nearing the southeast corner of the Llyn an eddy current sweeps us north-west again, s-curving us precisely to the corner. 30 degrees (Fred's choice) would definitively have been the safer 'bet', but I am quite chuffed how chance-perfect these Bardsey ferries today turned out to be.

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