12 intrepid paddlers braved the early morning cold to arrive at Gallows Point, parked up and got changed. However, by now the sun was out, and several of us had to get re-changed to avoid overheating. Even with this faffing, and the arrangement of the double buddy safety system, we were on the water in really good time. So, Ian’s first instruction of the day was to paddle slowly, so we didn’t get to the Swellies too soon. Our next instruction, I was pleased to hear, was to stay away from the roosting birds. At this time of year, many birds have limited energy reserves and they don’t need to be additionally stressed by thoughtless by paddlers. Not long after we came across a bijou residence in need of a little restoration, possibly an end to Trevor’s house hunting, it even came with a resident seal. Still way to early, we took a detour up Afon Cadant, where the residents of a holiday cottage were entertained by our presence, there was lots of excitable waving as our group paddled past and then again as we paddled back a few minutes later. I had very sensible conversations with Ian and Keith about property level flood protection.
Back out in the Straits we made the most of the high tide and paddled close to the shore, paddling on the shore side of Inys Gaint, only some us got stuck on an invisible underwater wall, before we paddled past an abandoned and boat which had seen better days called The Mistress. We paddled on under the suspension bridge and headed towards our lunch stop which by now needed to be in the sun and out of the wind, and preferably goose poo free. After a relaxed lunch we headed off slightly faster than some of us anticipated in the direction of Pont Britannia. My “buddy” went off to visit the The Swellies Pole, while someone else joined me in finding a rock, by now the current was quite fast. We continued past Pont Britannia, where we found numerous quite deep whirlpools. There were a few wobbly moments especially when we were accidently steered into the whirlpools by others in the group, I have not forgotten Roger!
Without any further adventure we paddled to Y Felinheli for the car shuttle back to Gallows Point. Once we were all changed and packed, we headed to the Garddfon Inn for a drink, some warmth and reflection on an enjoyable day.
My thanks to Ian for organising the trip and everyone for their company.