2016-03-19 Porth Dafarch to North Stack and back

The day after the four star training with Roger Chandler, I met up with Plum Loaf for a paddle. We decided on paddling to North Stack as the tides worked well for this trip. The tides were Mean Neap tides. Before setting off, I did some more fiddling with my boats outfitting.

Penrhyn Mawr when we arrived, didn’t have much play left in it, so we continued, in the somewhat cloudy dull weather onwards to South Stack.

South Stack and Ferry arriving from Ireland
South Stack and Ferry arriving from Ireland

Approaching South Stack we could see a group of climbers scaling the rock face. Seeing the climbers on the rock face really helped put into perspective just how big the cliffs are.

Spot the climbers
Spot the climbers

Just around the cliff from the climbers is a nesting colony of Guillemots. There must be thousands of these birds nesting on the cliffs, as the comings and goings were more or less continuos. It was quite amazing watching the Guillemots swoop down from their perches, before gaining enough air speed, flapping their tiny wings at high speed and heading out to sea. Then there were the ones returning back from feeding, flying what looked like full pelt into the rock face, until the very last moment where they would pull up and land exactly back on their perch. How they could spot their landing place so far out and time it to such perfection was truly amazing.

Guillemots comings and goings
Guillemots comings and goings
Guillemots comings and goings
Guillemots comings and goings
Guillemots comings and goings
Guillemots comings and goings

After an easy paddle through the gap between South Stack and Holy Island, under the lighthouse bridge, we continued on to North Stack. This side of the stack was very exposed and conditions we far lumpier with occasional white horses being seen. At North Stack we stopped in Parliament cave for lunch, watched closely by a group of seals, who were in turn being watched by a group of people up on the cliffs.

Being watched by seals
Being watched by seals

As we left Parliament cave to head back a seal popped up right next to my boat just as I was reaching for my camera. I am not sure who jumped more!

boo!
Boo!

The way back was much as it was on the way out. Superb!

Heading back
Heading back

Another great dull days paddling!

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