Freesteel Blog » Cardigan Bay new sea kayak weekend

Cardigan Bay new sea kayak weekend

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 at 9:22 am Written by:

The weekend had been set months in advance, and turned out to be the only weekend with perfect weather all summer so far.

Left Liverpool at 10pm and drove late into the night towards Aberystwyth looking for a place to camp on the way. We were expected to meet at Ty Canol campsite at 9am on Saturday morning near Newport. It’s very difficult to find anywhere in the dark, and the lanes off the main road are narrow, lack any waste ground between high walls, and all lead to farms. There are campsites and caravan parks on the map, but none of them ever reliably explain what they would like you to do if it’s two in the morning. This spot was not bad, although the 7am start was a drag.

We showed up at a campsite in Newport by 8:30am, phoned Andrew who hadn’t booked places in it and was in fact following his Satnav to the wrong part of Pembrokeshire, pitched the tent, ate breakfast of too many gooseberries, and then later discovered we were in the wrong campsite by a distance of one kilometre.

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The day’s mission (2012-07-21) was Voyage 29 of Welsh Sea Kayaking – Fifty Great Sea Kayak Voyages which involved entering at Poppit Sands (to the top right) and paddling to Newport (in the lower left) in a group of six. Totally flat calm windless conditions with virtually no swell.

This was not wasted, owing to the outrageous density of top quality sea caves, and dolphins.

It’s true that our dive kayaks would have made a lot slower progress along here than sea kayaks — because we would have been getting in and out of them the whole time to swim round and have a closer look! Sea kayaks go faster partly because you can’t do anything else with them.

The camera failed to record the through cave at the tip of Dinas Head on day 2 when it was flat calm on one side, and terribly windy on the other.

On the return trip from Fishguard Bay to Newport, near the needle on Dinas Head in Newport Bay, we chatted with the dive boat of Red Dragon divers having a tour of a place they called Octopus Reef.

We need to get back here with the dive kayaks in order to poke around these caves properly and visit wrecks such as the SS Herefordshire wedged up on Cardigan Island in a mere eight metres of water.

Though it is quite unlikely we will see conditions as perfect as that again for a long while, especially with a five hour drive from home. We’d have to move into a cottage in Cardigan for two weeks to get lucky. And avoid seal breeding season when all the caves are probably occupied.

Because it was unacceptable just to drive back in one go on such a good day, and legs had not been used for kayaking, it was necessary to nip up Cader Idris from Minffordd, starting at 5:40pm.

It took us three hours. It’s Tuesday and I’m still quite tired.

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