Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Baking for 1 hour at 300°

Four pieces of cake!

On the water is probably the best way to 'escape' the heat wave.

Today I did the following:
1. Tidal Planning
2. Crossing
3. Circumnavigation
4. Bimble along the coast

Paddling out of Church Bay for exactly one hour at 300 degrees. That brought me about 100 metres short of dead-on hitting the south-western tip of the Skerries. My tidal planning had not adjusted for my slow(er) paddling speed. Using the eddies and against the current I completed a circumnavigaton of the Skerries.

I was thinking of continuing to Cemlyn via West Mouse and have my break at Furlough's. I decided however to stick to my conservative plan and headed for the rocks under the lighthouse.

Pulling my kayak out, I was a bit puzzled with how high the water already was. According to my watch local HW should still be more than two hours away...

I hate paddling straight back from the Skerries to Church Bay. My memories of this is that this is a very boring crossing that allways tends to take much longer than expected. And little chance for any excitement along the way. Ferry gliding back to Carmel Head dropped me right over the Platters reef and into the tail end of the race off Carmel Head.

Reaching the Anglesey coast, I was a bit puzzled with how low the water already was...

Following the coastline into Church Bay. The hardest part of the day was pulling my kayak trolley up the steep path from the beach back to my car.

As it turned-out, my watch, that 'lives' attached to my buyoancy-aid, was one hour off; not set for daylight savings-time... That explained the water levels. Allways some room for improvement; no 5 stars for me today ;-)

Monday, August 08, 2022

Tweety glides again

It has been well over a year that I last paddled in Anglesey. For various obvious and less obvious reasons I did not travel and paddle as much. Getting back into the habit of paddling but in what paddling shape am I?

Visiting the Sea Kayaking UK factory I was welcomed by 'Tweety'. It has been the nickname of my second Explorer sea kayak, which maiden trip was to the Falls of Lora, back in October 2006. It is still here, waiting, and strong as ever.

Paddling out to Penrhyn Mawr via South Stack and North Stack around the Holyhead breakwater into Holyhead marina. A glorious sunny, almost windless, day. Sea state: "flat as a pancake"; a gently running Penrhyn Mawr.

I notice my kayak still remembers how to do this. Judging the right ferry angle and speed to play the 'Chicken shoot'; that helps. For plain paddling speed I am reminded that that is something I have to do myself and that my kayak is just enjoying hat part of the free ride. Forward paddling with 'locked arms' feels the only natural thing to do this. Rolling at the end is effortless, an ingrained body movement that does not require any thought.

Tweety still there, scenery everywhere, paddling skills still there and I am here.