On Saturday I enjoyed a cracking SUP trip on my new (to me) Red Paddle Board Explorer 13’2″.
As I’m a sea kayaker first and foremost and know the Menai Straits really well I decided to make this the venue for my first long’ish stand up paddle board trip.
Setting off from Moel y Don with easy parking just feet from the Anglesey shore I took the last of the flood tide heading north past the stunning National Trust property and home of the Marquis of Anglesey Plas Newydd House and Garden and onwards under first the Britannia Bridge, then through The Swellies and under the magnificent Menai Bridge.
As the tide had already begun to ebb as I reached the bridge it took some very determined paddling against the strengthening flow to make it through the first arch and into the quieter water beyond. Using some back eddies took me onwards and exploring of the small islands around Ynys Gaint was followed by lunch and a brief stop for an excellent ice cream at the Red Boat Ice Cream Parlour near the slip way in Menai Bridge.
My return took me back through The Swellies which were by now in places a mass of boils, whirlpools and grabby eddy lines which led to some ‘interesting’ paddling. Having survived The Swellies without a swim the next challenge was to remain upright on the board while negotiating wakes from the numerous high-speed power boats providing fun for the thrill seeking tourists.
All worked out well and I was soon back to my start point, deflating the board and re-packing the van for the journey home.
Ten miles, three and half hours and no swims was a pleasing result and will be just the first of many progressively longer trips I plan to do. Maybe a long way from the accomplishments of Cal Major – Paddle Against Plastic and my friend Roger Chandler, but hey you’ve got to start somewhere . . .
If anyone is interested in joining me on some longer SUP adventures give me a shout.