Paddled with Plum Loaf and three ex-marines, so plenty of banter!! We ran a car shuttle, leaving one car at the start and two cars at Bull Bay. One of the marines was fairly new to sea kayaking, so we needed to ensure he was ok with the trip.
Setting off from Cemlyn Bay the conditions looked calm but on rounding the headland, the sea became quite choppy. The inexperience paddler started having issues keeping his boat straight, so we kept a close eye on him until we arrived at Camaes bay. After a quick beach discussion, the inexperienced paddler and his mate decided to stay and play in the shelter of the bay. We would pick up the other two later. I learnt a lesson here. We had planned this trip the night before, but we didn’t update for the wind direction the next morning. We ended up with wind against tide when exposed. Also we didn’t take account of the primary swell. Next time I must use Phil Clegg’s excellent Journey Planner !! The good side to this initial part of the trip was how we worked together as a group. Plum Loaf and myself took turns leading the group. CLAP was much in evidence, with both of us taking turns to help the inexperienced paddler.
So now we were three. As we needed to reach Bull Bay before the tidal stream changed direction, so we needed to get a move on, especially as we were planning a lunch stop at Porth Wen brick works.
The tidal flow was still much in evidence. Plum loaf and Dusty stuck fairly close to the cliffs and seems to have hard work of it (back eddies?), whereas I paddled a little further out and had to keep stopping to let the make ground.
On entering Porth Wen the sea became quite choppy and we all agreed we had made the right decision to leave the other two behind. After a quick bite to eat and an explore of the brick works, we left Porth Wen. Just as we were leaving the bay we could see lots of gulls circling and landing on the water and as we approached we saw approx. five Porpoise obviously feeding. One breached the surface more than I have ever seen before, giving me a great view of its flank.
All too soon we were entering Bull Bay with the current against us, creating mini surf waves, just of the headland. The sun was shinning and in the protection of the Bay, everything was great!
According to my GPS we paddled 8.5 miles. We saw Harbour porpoises, a male seal, two peregrine falcons (at the brick works), a Razorbill, a guillemot, and nesting Fulmars! When we ran the shuttle you could even see the Isle of Man !!
When we returned to Camaes Bay to collect the other two, it turned out they had had an excellent time.
Best Days Paddle ever!