Most of us met at Queensferry so we could car share across to Abersoch and after a scenic drive we unloaded the boats at Abersoch beach. Andy Garland briefed us on the planned route, the expected weather and tides and the 9 of us launched about midday.
Weather was cloudy with a slight breeze, a nd the water quite still as we paddled out to the St Tudwals Islands. We paddled first to the east island, and around the far edge where we met a couple of seals perched on a rock. We then paddled across to the east island around which I completed my first circumnavigation! This island is owned by Bear Grylls as a holiday home and we could see where he had complied to take down the slide he had built before Gwynedd Council spotted it.
As the Islands are privately owned we couldn’t land on them so, as we were all getting peckish, we headed to a beach a little south to where we had launched. The surf was a too strong to get all 9 of us on and off safely, especially with a few of us who had never tried a surf landing, but Pete Thomas beautifully demonstrated before we started back around the headland. We were now paddling against the tide, working up an appetite, and the swell was great fun; there was even a bit of surfing.
We stopped at a little beach for lunch and sat and watched the clouds clear as the afternoon sun came out. A family, also on the beach, said they had seen dolphins at a similar time the day before and we kept an eye out but sadly they didn’t come out for us.
One of the brilliant things about this club is it’s wonderfully encouraging and generous members. So far, I had been paddling a great new club purchase, a small delphin, and to paddle back to Abersoch beach Mark Pawley offered his Greenland boat, a wonderfully sleek and responsive boat complete with Greenland paddle!
We paddled gently back, landed on the beach, and spent some time trying out each other’s boats and playing a little more before packing away about 5pm. Accompanied by a round of tea and Eccles cakes, courtesy of Mark and Dave, we loaded up and watched the refined art of Mark getting four sea boats on the roof of his van.
A superb days paddling, many thanks to all my fellow paddlers (and the bin men of Allerton who helped me get the boat on the car!) for a delightful bank holiday on the water.