Six of us met at Rhos on Sea, or I should say, three of us met at the pre-arranged meeting place with free parking and slipway access, and three met a bit further away with pay and display parking and a different slipway. It didn't really matter as we all met up on the water, just after passing Rhos on Sea harbour as we headed west to Little Orme. The weather was cool, with a strong low winter sun, a few high clouds and little wind. The sea state was pan flat.
I hadn't paddled the Valley Etain much, since adding a Valley Sirona to my 'fleet' (I've only four boats Mrs T!), so I decided to take the Etain out for a spin today. Paddling the Etain was just like putting on comfy clothing, it just felt right from the moment I plonked myself down into the cockpit. The lack of turning ability, compared to the Sirona, didn't bother me, but the straight line speed was evident from the first few paddle strokes.
One of the many ailments I have suffered from since having had sepsis in November 2018, is joint pain. Today was no exception. Very quickly, my shoulders were complaining and this didn't abate until we had passed Little Orme. It does appear the more I do the better the aches and pains become. I was having a conversation with Kris as we paddled along and we both decided that Sea Kayaking ought to be prescribed on the NHS. There are so many benefits both physically and mentally. I am going to ask my doctor next time I see him...
Across Llandudno Bay the group became a little fragmented, but we all came together at the Pier for a leg stretch and a snack.
Under the pier and around the Orme, there were lots of seals. One particular beach looked like Llandudno beach in the height of summer on a Bank holiday Weekend, beached "seals" everywhere! A few caves were visited and we eventually stopped on a rocky beach at Trwynygogarth. Lunch was consumed and we headed back.
The day out so far was turning out to be an excellent days paddle. But little did we now what awaited us as we were approaching Llandudno pier... Having just passed the "seal beach", we were joined by a small group of seals, one of whom (but may have been more than one) was intent on climbing on board our boats. Out of the kayaks the seal chose to climb on, the boats with white tops seem to be the preferred option. Perhaps white boats are more natural ie like ice! But the seal did seem to try out most of the non black coloured kayaks, a bit like Goldilocks trying out porridge, chairs and beds, before settling on Georges, Kris's all white kayak. And pretty pleased the seal seemed too! The stern of Kris's kayak was very low in the water, with Kris trying hard to maintain his balance with the additional load, with his bow well clear of the sea! So photos and videos were taken, before we eventually had to leave the fun and games ad head back across the bay.
Heading across Llandudno Bay, the views were excellent, with on one side the offshore wind farm being illuminated by the low setting sun and on the other Llandudno, with the snow covered peaks of Snowdonia behind town. Out at sea, there was a bank of fog which was very slowly devouring the wind turbines, way out in the distance.
By now my aching shoulders were not hurting at all, and I started doing reps: flat out for 30 secs rest and repeat. Looking back at my GPS I can see I was hitting 6kt at a sprint and I was feeling really good.
I must get that prescription for more Sea Kayaking from the Doc!
Thanks to Si Williams for organising, Andras, Colin, Kris and Matt for great company.
Best days paddling ever.
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