Saturday, 10 October 2009

West Shore to Old Colwyn

The original plan was to paddle Friday, I hadn’t realised that it was a four day week at work so a very pleasant surprise.
Gareth, John and Mark were free although John was making his way home Friday after a romantic stop in the Peak district.
He was free lunch time onwards so initial plans were made.
The winds were picking up and the forecast was somewhat pants.
Strong winds so with a better looking Saturday we delayed and decided to go for that.
I visited Rockpool and spoke to Mike Webb who as always is always keen to help and I also called into to Johns for a brew.
The seas were fairly flat although the winds could be clearly seen squalling along the surface around Llafairfechan and along the coast to the Island.
The Straits looked sheltered but I was looking forward to the next day as the forecast was for very low winds.
On Saturday I drove to the West Shore in Llandudno and once again the drive there revealed a relatively flat sea along from Abergele and through to Colwyn Bay.
Parked up and Ga had already landed, the winds were out Westerly and the seas were starting to stir, it’s very shallow on the West Shore and as normal with the winds some good swells, some white horses and beam seas.
I had recommended that as high tide was around 1530 that a paddle out around the Ormes and return would result in wind over tide and knowing the corner on the head of the Great Orme it can make for an interesting return.
As a result and taking into account both Johns and Marks experience we opted for a one wayer with the wind and shuttled cars to Old Colwyn a pain but worth it in the end.
Saw a couple of guys launch in matching North Shore Atlantics looked new, they were also returning, John was fairly quiet which is always a sign but the seas were choppy and on our left beam.
Loads of hull slapping and looking out it only looked worse.
We stayed close and I appreciated what was obviously going through his mind or bottom!
Been there as they say but he ploughed on, although we struggled to get him to head right.
Big swells and as always on the corner confused seas, both he and Mark did well and we eventually managed to head along the coastline.
Pushed through in no time to Llandudno for lunch and then off again hugging the shore line to get some mileage in, got near to the Little Orme and admiring a property when the next thing I was looking at Marks hull, a momentary lapse and he had gone in.
He emerged laughing and I rescued him and we were off again and he was still laughing.
Again some more confusing seas at the Little Orme and off again for Old Colwyn, we met the two guys in the North Shore boats as they set off from Rhos.
I didn’t envy them the paddle back the wind had picked up and eventually on our return to the West Shore the seas and winds were evident.
An excellent performance by Mark and John, it was the roughest re conditions for John, he did well he stated that there were times he felt close to doing an about turn, after such a short time he has come quiet far.

Below, Lunch Spot

A friend near to the Little Orme

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