2014-11-24 The Stacks

Monday morning saw my paddle buddy and myself meeting with (of Sea Kayaking Anglesey) at Anglesey Outdoors and deciding where to paddle. After lots of discussion and referencing of tide tables, guidebooks, weather forecasts, surf/swell forecasts etc, a good mug of tea and using Phil’s expert knowledge of these races, we decided to paddle, and .

Both my paddle buddy and I wanted some big rough stuff to play in and we had not paddled these tidal races before. It was springs and Phil told us this trip wouldn’t disappoint! His exact words were “It will be big”!! I wrote his exact words down…

Whilst we were at Anglesey Outdoors, Phil showed us his Journey planner, which I rather liked. Rather than having lots of text, which is nigh on impossible to read when on the water, especially when it gets a little rough. Phil’s journey planner is very pictorial solution. A glance at the planner on the water and you have (so long as you have added the detail) a pictorial view of what the wind, waves, tide are doing on your journey. If you would like a copy of Phil’s planner, I suggest you get yourself on one of Phil’s courses at Sea Kayaking Anglesey.

Anyway, back to our days paddle. No sooner had we set off, my GoPro turned itself off and I couldn’t get it going again; not at least until we stopped for lunch. This unfortunately meant that I was unable to capture any footage of the tidal races. So most of the exciting/good pictures below were taken by Phil – thanks Phil. It is difficult to say, but I think the pictures with land visible in the distance are most likely to be taken at North Stacks. The others without any visible land in the background are either Penrhyn Mawr or South Stacks. Hmmm… I really don’t know as I was too busy having fun.

About to get stuck into the tidal race

It was pretty wild out there.
It was pretty wild out there.
Well we did ask for big water.
Well we did ask for big water.
Despite it being fairly messy out in the races, some good surfs were had.
Despite it being fairly messy out in the races, some good surfs were had.

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Where is my boat?
Where is my boat?

 

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Where is my boat?
Spot the paddler

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there was some funny water about
there was some funny water about

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The eddy lines were not very defined and the transition was generally pretty smooth
The eddy lines were not very defined and the transition was generally pretty smooth

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15875341891_3ab52fc78e_kOnce we finally stopped for lunch I was able to sort my GoPro out and get it working. I was able to capture the images below on our return journey.

Now you see him
Now you see him
Now you don't
Now you don’t
Phil showing us the way
Phil showing us the way
Rock-hopping
Rock-hopping
Rock-hopping was fun in the swell
Rock-hopping was fun in the swell
The area is full of caves to explore and nooks and crannies
The area is full of caves to explore and nooks and crannies
North Stacks Lighthouse and Bridge
North Stacks Lighthouse and Bridge
North Stacks Sneak through
North Stacks Sneak through
A distracted North Stacks Seal about to be run over
A distracted North Stacks Seal about to be run over
The helicopter wasn't for us! It was just practicing.
The helicopter wasn’t for us! It was just practicing.
My route downloaded from my GPS
My route downloaded from my GPS

The days paddle to North Stacks and back was about 12 miles according to my GPS. But with all the excitement of paddling in the races and rock hopping it felt a lot, lot longer. My paddle buddy was looking pretty exhausted when we got back to our accommodation and excellent facilities at Anglesey Outdoors. But both our grin’s said it all really. The best days paddling ever!

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