I had planned the route to start at Rhoscolyn or Porth Dafarch but ……
Searching for somewhere to start, with a Force 4 blowing hard from the East and forecast to do that for a couple of days.
At Penmon Head ( E tip of Angelsey) the wind and waves were steaming in from the East. Thought about going NE up the island in an anticlockwise direction but settled for a trip to the South East down the Menai Straits. High tide was very early; we were up early, but took a time to drive over and get packed on day one. As we needed the ebb tide to get down the straits, and despite our start at 07.15 we were being a bit late in the tide, we passed Plas Menai just before Carnaervon the engine was turned off, the tide turned. We got out, made a brew or two and had forty (180) winks whilst waiting for the tide to turn -rather pleasant sheltering from the worst of the hot sun under the shade of oak trees.
Off we went again round Abermenai Point and out past Llanddwyn Island with the Lleyn Penninsula in the background. Found a very flat campsite at 8pm on grassy top of an old stack with a great view – strangely Scottish but without the midges. 35km.
Next day saw us off at 09.00, covering 20 km before collecting the tidal stream. At one point an odd flapping ‘flag’ was noticed poking 30cm out of the water. Intrigued we paddled slowly towards it, speculating as to its identity; then, with a flurry, it was gone. An ocean sunfish had been snacking on the abundant jellyfish, with only it’s tall dorsal fin showing, until we’d disturbed its lunch. Further highlights were the raucous auk colonies on the Penryn Mawr and the Stacks as we cruised effortlessly by on the benign tide race formed on a windless neap. Avoided a close encounter with the Seacat racing in from Dublin. Karma restored by a graceful passing from a Dolphin and its calf.
Another fine campsite 200ft on a rocky outcrop by the beach – time for a refreshing dip. 40km. Evening walk around Carmel Head with entertainment provided by a family group of 6 noisy chough.
The final day was another split day getting up early . Set off at 07.00 to catch the last of the tide, into Cemlyn Bay, brews, sleep, chat and bird watching at the amazing tern breeding colony. Off again at 12.15 into a bit of a pea souper – interesting navigation with 100m visibility! The fog cleared and slowly but steadily the weather improved, jet skis spoiled the peace and the seals no doubt and then as forecasted a bit of a wind picked up as headed across Red Wharfe Bay. Now 19.15 40km done, the forecast was for more wind the following day and it seemed the sensible to thing to do and push on through round Penmon Point, the weather now had changed to a lovely bright clear summers evening. A final grunt heading into a force 3 up the channel to some very welcome cars 52km and off for fish and chips.
A great trip for Brian, Mike H John H and Mike P
Thanks to Brain for the inspiration.