Walney Island

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The wind was too strong yesterday so I spent the day shopping for food and planning the route ahead.  I didn’t set off this morning until the wind had dropped.

When crossing Morecambe bay, there was a very choppy patch of water just before I crossed the shipping channel and the fully laden boat was slamming down as it went over the back of the waves.

I arrived at Walney Island in the mist, and then spent an hour in the drizzle sewing a zip back on the tent that had become detached during yesterdays strong winds.

The forecast looks a bit iffy for tomorrow, so I might be here for more than one night.

Blackpool

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It was a long walk to launch from low tide this morning, so I was glad to have a trolley.  Suddenly the sand turned to knee-deep mud at one point, but all the rain helped wash it off.

There was surf everywhere today as I paddled over various large sand banks which combined with a bit off a headwind meant I didn’t get that far.  I stopped at Blackpool as I couldn’t see anywhere else to camp on the map for quite a way along the coast.

I’ve now paddled over 1000NM since Cambridge, and had a pizza to celebrate.

Formby

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I left Llandudno this morning to cross directly to Formby.  I weaved my way past the wind farms in the morning (with lots of new turbines under construction).

In the afternoon, it became a bit choppy as the tide turned against the wind, and I had to dodge some large ships and speed ferries arriving at Liverpool, and pick my moment carefully to cross the shipping channel.  This became tricky as everything disappeared everytime I was in a trough, and a few waves were breaking over my boat.

I saw some figures on the beach, but wasn’t really sure if they were people or the Anthony Gormley sculptures that the coastguard said are somewhere around here.

I felt pretty exhausted by the time I arrived at Formby, but it was a good day out nevertheless and 30 more miles are behind me.

Llandudno

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Calm water and low cloud at South Stack

I made an early start today to catch the tide – up at 3am and on the water by 5.30.  It’s near spring tides, which helped a lot, and I had a bit of a breeze behind me so the miles went by quickly.

It was a bit bumpy at Penrwn Mawr, but otherwise all very calm.  I passed just outside the mouse islands on the north coast of Anglesey which seemed to work well, and once I reached Point Lynas, I crossed directly to Great Ormes Head.

By midday, I’d covered 35NM and stopped at Llandudno after 40NM as the tide turned against me.

Resting on Anglesey …

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I arrived on Anglesey on Tuesday, and have been having a few days rest while some bad weather passes and Mike at Rockpool repairs a bit of damage I did to the bow of my kayak during a foggy landing back near Great Yarmouth.  Brilliant after sales service from Rockpool – thanks Mike.

While here, I met John Willacy (who designed the Taran and had used it to break many records).  Thanks for all the useful advice John – much appreciated.

On the paddle up here from Aberdesach, my shoulder was causing me quite a lot of pain, but fortunately, I met John Perrot, an osteopath (who was collecting a lovely looking Taran 16), and he did some sort of adjustment to my shoulder which made it feel a lot better – thanks John.

Hopefully, my shoulder will be OK when I start paddling again, but I’ve decided against the big crossing to the Isle of Man, and will be going the long way round.
I know I need to get a move on, but don’t want to make it any worse.  Anyway, it’s an early start tomorrow to catch the tide to paddle round the lovely north coast of Anglesey.

Aberdesach …

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After spending a week at Porth Ceiriad – partly due to bad weather, but also to give my wrists and shoulders some time to recover – I was glad to be paddling again.  A wave took my hat as I was leaving the beach so I spent some time in the surf retrieving it.

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It was a very calm day, even in Bardsey Sound.  I kept paddling until quite late, stopping about five miles south of Abermenai Point, so I should be able to make it to Anglesey tomorrow.

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(Thanks to everyone who has donated recently – sorry for the delay in comments appearing – I need to clear the backlog of comment spam.)

Day 100: Abersoch

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Yesterday, I paddled up from New Quay to camp in the dunes at Aberdovey.  A nice paddle past interesting looking cliffs and over clear jellyfish-filled water.

I arrived at Aberdovey at dusk and was only there for a few hours – away with the next tide, trying to make the most off this good weather while it lasts.

Today, I crossed over to the Lleyn peninsula, stopping on a beach near Abersoch.  I was surprised to find the water was only about 6ft deep at one point when I was miles from shore - a tiny sand bank.

It’s tempting to push on towards Anglesey tomorrow, but the forecast doesn’t look too promising and a rest will be good for my wrists.

New Quay

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Lovely weather today, so I went for a paddle.  Just after passing Cardigan Island, suddenly two massive dolphins jumped clear out off the water right next to me.  They then swam alongside for about a mile until a powerboat (that probably wasn’t looking) went right over where they were swimming.  Hope they didn’t hit by a propeller.

Stopped on the beach just past New Quay.

Newport Sands

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I stopped in Fishguard yesterday and bought as much food as I could possibly fit into the kayak, after which I paddled on a few more miles to arrive at Newport Sands at sunset.

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Today I used continued wrist pain, firing at the Aberporth range, and a headwind as excuses to take another rest day, relaxing in the dunes.

Abereiddy Bay

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My wrists were a bit swollen after the crossing from Lundy, so I took a day off at Milford Haven, and sat on the beach eating and even went for a (cold) swim the sea.

Yesterday, I had a gentle paddle round to Abereiddy Bay.  The tide was helping a lot as I floated past the beautiful puffin infested coastline – I was doing 9 knots through Ramsey Sound at one point while hardly paddling.

I stopped to camp on the beach at Abereiddy Bay, and this morning have just paddled round to Porthgain for breakfast in a pub while I wait for the tide.  Now going to go round Strumble Head and into Fishguard to stock up as I’ve eaten all my food again.