Sunday, 10 May 2009

Bardsey Island

It started out as a gentle paddle around the bay and to take in the two small Islands Gwylan fawr and bach.
That then changed to a slot to get over to Bardsey for a quick lunch to then lets circumnavigate it.
A great classic to add to the list not without event.
More to follow.....

The only plans made for the day was to meet at Aberdaron at 1030, I assumed that the launching area/meet would be fairly obvious as it was as the village well very small.
Drove our cars down the slip and dropped off the boats and kit to find the car park a short distance away, beware it’s a £5 for the day and it closes at 7pm.
Off we paddled following close to the coast, fantastic views, caves and interesting rock formations no doubt a climbers dream.
As we paddled around Pen y Cil Bardsey Island came into view.
I have seen it from the Coast of Anglesey and likewise all paddlers are aware of its reputation.
It had been on our to do list for some time but timing such is important and opportunities have not occurred, likewise it’s a hike to get to the launching area nearly 80 miles for me.
We explored the coast line and Roger took advantage of his plastic boat and obviously enjoying his rock hopping.
The sun was trying to get out and the wind had died down, the Sound looked flat and calm what were they on about it looked so inviting!
Just to the corner with Trwyn Maen Melyn and Mike as he does suggested that there was an opportunity to paddle across and get to the Island.
So off we went, we arrived at the South East side and the flow of water was evident nothing big just some bubbling and that spooky flat water that appears occasionally.
“around the corner for a quick lunch” so off we went and landed at the small slip with Pen Diban lighthouse in view.
The other feature was the tremendous noise coming from the seal colony within the next bay.
A quick bite to eat and Mike had obviously considered the circumnavigation, it was decided and off we set to do it clockwise.
We got to the North West side and there was still some tide going out, the flow was strong but tucked in close I found it manageable.
A couple of the guys but their heads down and dug in, we were encouraged by the promise of an easy paddle back once we cleared the Island.
Got to the top at Bae y Rhigol to see the flow of water forming past the small rocky formation of Maen Bugal.
Off and over we went, lively but fairly low in height and strength but still some hull slapping, we picked a point on the headland and off we set.
The wind picked up around a force 3 with some white water and we appeared to be getting nowhere fast.
The guys were getting tired and at one point we went for a tow option, some verbal encouragement and we eventually reached the safety of the opposing coast line.
It seemed to take ages and it was quiet choppy at times, there was a great sense of relief all round as we had a brief gathering and set off for the village, don’t forget the blooming car park closes at seven although we has a few hours left.
Back onto the sand, a quick group huddle and off to get the cars to pack up and get home for my Sunday dinner which apparently was in the dog!
We don’t have a dog darling?
We didn’t have you for Sunday lunch came the reply!
Home for 8 a long day, a lovely beef dinner, boat off kit cleaned and a good night’s sleep, ahhhh work on Monday.
So Bardsey on our list although done with some anxiety but we can tell some war stories over some beers in the future.

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