Monday, 30 November 2009

Spurn Point

This was a short paddle along an unusual bit of coastline. Spurn point is a long, narrow heap of sand that protects the mouth of the Humber from the lumpiness of the North Sea. The scenary was somewhat monotonous, being just a heap of sand, punctuated periodically by the remains of wooden groynes. The groynes had been built in a vain hope that a few bits of felled timber could halt the natural cycle of erosion and deposition that had occured before Man interferred. Needless to say, nature is winning and the fortifications are decaying.
Just off the point, sea conditions became more interesting and I was drawn like a magnet towards the overfalls.
This trip has the advantage of starting at a cafe and finishing at a pub. The two are about half a mile apart and the short walk to collect the transport was a good way to warm up on a cold day. The two establishments could not be more different. The cafe was very welcoming, the owner chatty and friendly and the food and drink good. The pub meanwhile has a very frightening landlady. I got shouted at for daring to suggest that the brown aqueous solution I had been served as coca-cola was in fact flat. I think I will give this one a miss in future. The only good thing about the pub was its proximity to the get-out. Here the pub is in the background as I put the Cetus through its paces in preparation for returning it to P&H.

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Sunday, 29 November 2009

A sneaky day in the sun

A sunny day in the winter is something special to be savoured, and where better than The Skerries. As we set off from Cemlyn bay in the final hour of ebb the rocky islets and lighthouse looked deceptively close. About a knot of tide assisted our progress and it wasn't long before we were circumnavigating, then landing on the islands. During lunch the tidal flow slowed and by the time we relaunched the flood was well underway, especially close to Carmel Head as we were to discover while trying to cross the short gap to the headland. The return journey to Cemlyn was straightforward, following the shore with a bit of rockhopping for good measure. It was fantastic to be out on the water in such good weather after what seems like weeks of continuous rain. The picture says it all.

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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Launching the new boat

Having unwrapped layer after layer of plastic and cardboard and revealed my new boat in all its red and white beauty, I didn't feel I could consign it to the shed straight away, so she spent a fortnight in my living room. It made getting to the kitchen a bit of an obstacle course, but it did mean I could admire the unmarked shining gelcoat.

Finally, work was done for the week and I could go paddling. The first launch was at Trearddur Bay on Anglesey. The weather was too rough for real paddling so we had to make do with a bit of surfing.

The Cetus LV is lovely and light, an easy one person carry.

Here's the moment I had been waiting for.

And finally afloat.

A few wobbly moments later and I was getting used to a lovely lively boat.

photo by Jim Krawiecki

All in all I think it's a grand boat. It's fast, and narrow just where the paddle goes. It's incredibly manouvrable, and whilst it's happy sitting up on an edge, it doesn't really need a lot of edge to turn. I think I'm going to really enjoy paddling it. Just need some decent weather to give it a good run out.