Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Skerries Questionmarks

The tide was perfect for a paddle out to the Skerries at max ebb. Yvonne planned the trip yesterday but we were aware and both questioning if the weather (wind) would suit the plan. With the last few days of strong westerly and northwesterly winds, yesterday force 6 to 8, 'on paper' this trip today would be questionable to say the least.

We went to Cemlyn to look at the sea and discuss the options. The sea was very white and rough at the obvious locations of the various tidal races out there and around the Skerries. Furloughs race was unplayable in a way that we considered it unsafe. There looked to be 'pathways' towards the Skerries that would be 'possible', but why the risk? The wind was still a solid force 5/6 against max ebb. Questions...

Lots of alternative plans came to mind. In the end we decided to paddle against the flow towards Cameas Bay and have lunch there. After lunch the tide would have eased a bit and would probably change some perspective? Paddling back towards Cemlyn the wind had dropped to 4 and the sea had quietened down to a point where I asked Yvonne on the spot to take us to the Skerries.

At dead slack we arrived at the Skerries. A short break there and then surfing back to Cemlyn Bay via West Mouse.

Decisions: when question marks become exclamation marks.

Monday, October 02, 2017


With the forecast for today and possible paddling tomorrow Yvonne and I did a wide hike up and around Holyhead mountain 'visiting' the paddling highlights from high ground in high winds.

At North Stack we could peek down at Parliament House cave. We saw three addult seals and a seal pup on the beach. Two addult seals in the water between the all white rock gardens. The seal pup was dangerously braving the surf line on the gravel beach. Washed up with every wave and again and again making it's way towards the waters' edge... What are you doing?

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Double Bill

With a strong wind forecast the plan was to paddle out of Trearddur Bay towards Rhoscolyn Head. It soon became clear that we would not go much further. Heading into the beach at the Caravan Park beyond Ravenspoint we decided for Plan-B.

Overlooking the sea, we discussed and evaluated safety issues. What did we expect it to look like before heading out? What are the conditions actually? Learning opportunities. Happy to paddle in these conditions? Comfortable to perform a rescue? Heading out wide for 'big sea' paddling conditions back into T-Bay.

After lunch Mirco wanted to try-out back surfing. The surf did not look too impressing at first but back-surfing was incredible today.