Monday, 7 July 2008

Menai 18 Friday 4th July

Out again on Friday, I had finally succumbed to having a skeg fitted, the last straw being the open crossing to Staffa on the Scotland trip.
Arrangements with Mike at Rockpool, and also an opportunity to try out the Menai 18.
Friday looked like the ideal slot within the weather front and winds were showing low!
Some delays at Ga’s end apparently a stampede of cattle and he assisted in their herding.
Arrived at Mikes for 11’ish and high tide shown at midday.
Dafarch and on the water just before the high tide, still saves on the portage.
We decided to have a peak at Penrhyn Mawr and possibly the Stacks, as soon as we headed out of bay the sea was alive, very irregular and that familiar wind to assist, like no and against the Spring tide.
Some apprehension as it was the first time in the new boat but that soon went as its stability and handling in the conditions was superb.
Likewise its speed and the ability to play on top of the waves making easily identifiable from the Rockpool family.
Penrhyn Mawr was mawr or big in English, the tide had just turned and looking at a wall of sea is bloomin impressive, standing waves the power is awesome.
So a quick dynamic risk assessment and we paddled out and got onto the conveyor belt to Rhoscolyn our lunch destination.
Settled well into the Menai you instantly do, if you are after a load carrying boat with the large hatches, and to me they seemed huge.
Also the touches with the spare paddle recess’s, and the fantastic extra front hatch.
Ideal for flares, phone and snacks, I was sold.
Stability if you enjoy taking pics it’s the one for you.
This does not distract from its speed, I always find that I play catch up with Ga and his massive Werner blades but for once he commented he could not keep the pace up against it.
Turned well but in fairness it was choppy and I was able to use the crest of the waves.
It calmed down an after a while we stopped and tried to catch Ga’s tea, no success so it was a curry from Tesco then!
Looked at Rhoscolyn head and again masses of water, we could get into there but the return journey would mean a detour so into the bay and to an old spot at Porth y Garan.
Lunch and then we had a swap, it seemed strange at first and I had become use to the Menais stability, also the Alaw seemed so large re the comfortable sitting position and doing some initial photos spooked me a bit.
Soon sorted and back to the familiar Alaw zone, Ga had a mess about but it had calmed down so he didn’t have the advantages of seeing it on the choppy waters.
Back in along the coast, more fishing or attempts and back in, surprisingly around 15 miles when traced out on Memory Map, GPS still away!
Met some of Ga’s old colleagues they had cut short the Holy Island trip with the NWSK,s coming in at Holyhead.
A chat, packed up and we managed to see the rest paddling in after the completion of the whole trip, well done to them, its 20 miles or so.
Back to Mikes, Alaw Bach with skeg, and he had also repaired some hatch cord points, back rest and carrying handle cord.
Service with a smile and all in an afternoons work.
A cup of tea and chat and then off.
Welsh classes’ meal at Prestatyn for 7-7.30 checked my watch and it was nearly 6, ahhhh.
Boat off, bath, clothes and quickly down to the Bistro for 7.30.
A lovely meal, beers and wines that hit me like a brick, not enough fluid when paddling my fault.
Home for 1 after a star wars bar night in the local haunt.
Thick head Saturday, never again!




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