Freesteel Blog » Spring 2006 Adventures


Spring 2006 Adventures

Spring began with a visit to Eastercon 2006 in Glasgow, where I saved money by camping out in my secret place in the wood round the back of the hotel.

glascamp gryman
My hotel room on the left. Geoff Ryman being photographed by someone else in the dealers’ room where a lot of his books were on display in various parts.

I went for a visit up to Aberdeen, which looks like good place for a kayak diving trip, and then got back home in time to be invited on a quick trip to St Abb’s to take over some missing spaces that had become available. As you can see, it was quite good. Lots of those soft corals called “Dead Men’s Fingers”, and you could see what your were doing, followed by a curry in Bradford with the biggest Naan bread I have ever seen.

dive1 dive2
divelift naan
Quick trip to St Abb’s. Top right is showing how to put up an inflatable blob to the surface that shows where you are to the boat. The boat had a platform with an electric winch, so you did not need to climb up a ladder with all your kit on.

Then Becka and me got away for a wet weekend on Sunday and Monday. Sunday was lovely, and we went out for a paddle from Bull Bay towards Camaes. The diving is all good round there and we saw a couple of dolphins or porpoises. I paddled further offshore on the way back and rode the current back to the Bay. Our second dive was not far from the beach, and fantastic discovery of an easy to access site for new kayak diving converts, should we get any. The May bloom was just beginning, and water was very full of algae.

tanks kayak1
briks1 briks2
Halfway from Bull Bay to Camaes was a bay with an old brick works where the metal was all rotting away. We’re short of car access, so I take the tanks to the compressor room using an improvised trailer.

We stayed at a lovely campsite in Cemaes which we only knew existed from the symbol on the OS map. There were no signs till we got there by a very roundabout route through town. On recomendation, we went across the fields to a pub called the Douglas run by some fellows who “batted for the other team”. It’s not every day you run into a gay bar in the northwest corner of Wales opposite a nuclear power station, but these are the days.

dogdiv menai
One of those cuddly little dogfish resting in the Menai Straits in the darkness. Unfortunately we had to return to the surface where it was pissing down with rain and was cold and wet.

On Sunday 14 May we took some cavers for a jaunt down to the caves of North Wales, and did a bit more of Ogof Hesp Alyn than anticipated. Since we last visited 7 years ago the North Wales Cavers had taken a wheelbarrow down and had carted a load of mud out of the sumpy bit so it didn’t fill it with the rising water levels each year. So we got through to the further reaches of the cave, and got as far as the pitch series near the end. Then we got a bit dirty, because they’re very muddy caves, and visited Ogof Nadolig just up the hill with its fine offset entrance pipe.

caveladd cavent
cavelpipe riverwash
The convenient stream running through the Alyn Gorge where you can wash off after the messy caves.


Julian Todd 2005-03-06