Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Saturday, October 01, 2016


I checked if the "Saturday Club" would be paddling today. They're all out paddling allright but working... Ed texted me that it would be 'Stacking'. Porth Dafarch was full of sea kayakers (and cars) as when it would be at a symposium. School groups, Coasteering, 4* Training, and us two. The weather is a bit grey and drizzly but the sea water is still comfortably warm.

By the time we made it to South Stack the tide had already turned. North Stack was rushing, but too fast to catch waves. It does not help when it is blowing force 4 WITH the current. So we dropped down to South Stack. I was a bit intimidated by the sight of it. I saw surf-like breaking waves with 'tubes' and spray blowing off the tops like on a good beach surf day, but this is South Stack. Memories of many years ago of being trashed there gets me a bit more cautious today and I aim for the side of the race and go from there. South Stack was even worse with the wind. Forever on the pivot point on the wave hitting a wall of wind and only once dropping down for a long surf. Too much hard work on the arms and shoulders (and feet); exhausting... Once off the front waves, never making it back where the real action is.

Back in the eddy at South Stack for a short rest and one more go. Not before we are hit by a heavy squall; hurting in the face. Glad it is not hail. And the fog horn at South Stack going off. Again, the headwind killing any easy surfing.

Back at Porth Dafarch more and more groups return and more and more 'Saturday Club' members gather at the Paddler's Return for a pint and food. We were the only ones being hit by the squall. Stacking allright today, but more that the wind was stacking against us.

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