2017-09-23 LCC Wet Weekend – Menai Straits

Bangor Pier

It was the final LCC Angelsey Weekend camping of the year and I thought I would go along. I arrived on Friday night in the pitch dark and drove onto the field. Uh-oh! I soon realised the field was extremely wet and my heavy van was wheel spinning just at tick-over on the grass.  I managed to find a spot to park  and decided not to worry about the possibility of being stuck until the morning.

LCC Campers in the rain
LCC Campers in the rain

After a good nights sleep, being rocked by the wind and rain buffeting the van, I had myself a nice breakfast before venturing out into the rain.

With the wet and very windy conditions on the campsite, it was fairly obvious the only safe option for a paddle would be to head down to the Menai Striats. Driving the van off the field I had a sense of great relief in not getting stuck.  The A55 soon saw a convoy of sea kayak topped vans and cars heading down to Menai Bridge.

The Menai Bridge
The Menai Bridge

I decided to park in the car park in town and trolley my boat around to the slipway. My van just takes up too much space and there was no way I would be leaving it in the slipway car park. It floods at high tide!

Setting off from the slipway we floated along with the tide up to Bangor pier. After the pier the wind got up a bit and there was some swell. By the time we got to the boatyard it was really blowing and there were some lumpy waves coming through. We talked about having lunch here, but in the end sensibly decided to head back to the pub (Gazelle Hotel).

Getting ready to set off
Getting ready to set off
Floating on the current - 'tis hard work
Floating on the current – ’tis hard work

Back at the pub, the wind was much lighter and the refreshment wetter. By now the current was definately heading back down to Menai Bridge so we headed back to the slipway where some decided to call it a day. The car park was now well and truly flooded. Amy paddled through the The rest of us headed down into the swellies for a play about in the currents.

The Swelly Rock South Cardinal
The Swelly Rock South Cardinal

Having missed the Swellies Rock Cardinal in the past, this time I made sure made the wave with the front of my boat missing the cardinal by about 2cm.  Even so, as I dropped onto the front wave, there was still enough momentum to push me back onto the second wave. I still had a good surf though.

Then it was down to Gorad Goch. The little island with the fisherman’s trap and cottage. We had a go at playing in the wave here and Gareth took a little swim. Having rescued Gareth, we then went to the other side of the island where there were some other kayakers and joined them on the wave.

Amy in the flow
Amy in the flow

Using the numerous eddies, it is easy to make your way back up to the Menai Bridge. At the Bridge you normally, if the current is still running fast, need to ferry across to the Wales side, before making your way upstream against the current using the eddies on that side. Then when you are high enough “upstream” of the slipway, need to ferry back to the Anglesey/Menai Bridge side. You will soon find out if you have gone high enough, as you don’t want to miss the slipway and have to do it all over again. By the time we reached Menai Bridge, the current had dropped off sufficiently for us to paddle against it, keeping to the Anglesey side without the big ferry.

LCC paddlers playing on the wave
LCC paddlers playing on the wave

All in all a great little paddle with plenty of bird life to watch and even the occasional bit of sun between the clouds.

Back at the campsite I parked up in  a gravel car park at the centre. I wasn’t risking the field again. And of course by now it was raining once again.

Full Gallery below:  (Click on an image to view in full screen)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top