Friday, April 30, 2010

Anglesey - Friday: Rockpool-kayaks test-ride

Actually a rest-day/non paddling day was planned before the start of the Anglesey Seakayak Symposium tomorrow. But then Nico asked us to help. Nico is Dutch distributor of Rockpool kayaks and wanted to try out the Rockpools' latest design: the new GT - a high volume seakayak, fast and yet said to be easy manoeuvrable. This was too perfect an excuse to neglect, so we paddled today once more in the tidal race near North Stack. But this time not in our own kayaks but in 3 different Rockpool demo-kayaks: the Isel, the Alaw Bach and the GT. We swapped boots multiple times. I enjoyed paddling the Alaw and the Isel, the GT is a number to big for me.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Anglesey – Thursday: Holy Island Circumnavigation

The key to a successful circumnavigation of Holy Island is the passage of Stanley Embankment and Four Miles Bridge: two passages where the tide presses the sea through a ridiculous narrow gap: creating a standing wave and a big stopper in the tunnels. For playboaters it’s a popular playspot. Timing is the trick for a safe passage: cross the inland sea between Stanley embankment and Four Miles bridge at the time of slack water at hight tide. Lesly from Denmark and Walter from the Netherlands joined us today. Timing was perfect: we enjoyed a fast and smooth ride through both tunnels, passed Holyhead Harbour just after the departure of the big Ferries to Ireland and caught the tidal at North stack.

Holy Island Circumnavigation, start/finish at Porth Dafarch, 35 km, Wind SW-W 3-4 Bft.

Anglesey -Wednesday: a Dutch invasion of the Stacks

At 1.00 A.M. we would meet Walter at Soldiers Point (next to Holyhead Harbour) to paddle and play a bit along the Stacks. As we we were heading from the campsite to this meeting point, suddenly a Dutch car loaded with kayaks drove behind us. It was Nico, who just arrived from Holland at Anglesey. Nico spontaneously decided to join us on our paddle trip: 4 Dutchmen on the water.
With the tide running and a Southerly wind blowing up to 5 or 6 Bft. the sea was lively. We surfed on the standing waves of the North Stack tidal race and enjoyed confusing water around the headlands.
Soldiers Point - North Stack - South Stack and back: 16 km, S-SW 5-6 Bft.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Anglesey - Tuesday’s pictures (and a personal achievement)

The day started drizzling and cold. However: I soon regretted the extra layer of fleece I put under my drysuit. A few minutes after we left the beach for today’s paddle the sun started shining. This afternoon we paddled from Rhosneigr to Llandwyn Point and back. Again a different scenery: in this part of Anglesey the coast is characterized by wide sandy beaches and sand-dunes – quit familiar to us Dutch! Near Aberfraw Bay we met the 3rd. Dutchmen Walter on the water.

This was a special day for me: after 8 years and 3 visits to Anglesey I finally managed to complete my “circumnavigation of Anglesey”: this South-Western part of Anglesey was the missing link – the stretch of Anglesey’s coast I didn’t explore before. Some people round the isle of Anglesey in one day: Kate did so recently in 13 hours and 8 minutes: a record, respect!
Rhosneigr – Aberfraw bay – Llandwyn Island v.v., 25 km, Wind S-SW 4-5 occ. 6 Bft.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Angelsey pictures of the day: Moelfre - Lynas Point - Bull Bay v.v.

Guests of the Anglesey seakayak symposium are arriving day by day on the campsite. Today Walter from the Netherlands joined us on a paddle trip from Moelfre to Bull Bay and back: three Dutchmen in a kayak ;-)
This stretch of Anglesey's coastline is perhaps a bit less rough than the Westcoast, but the scenery is great with a fantastic view on the mountains of Wales (even with some patches of snow on the highest parts) - yesterday visibility was poor but today excellent. Encounters with porpoises, seals and lots of different seabirds topped a relaxed paddle trip.
Moelfre-Point Lynas-Bull Bay v.v. 30 km, S-SW 3-4 Bft, 30 km.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anglesey - Sundays' pictures

A quick impression of our first paddle at Angelsey. Temperature has dropped from 18 degrees Celsius on Saturday to 10 degrees Celsius on Sunday. And over night wind returned. Perfect conditions for a nice trip on lively water!
Port Dafarch-Rhoscolyn-Cymyran Street v.v, S-SW 4-5 Bft, Seastate moderate, visibility Poor, HW Liverpool 8.12 GMT.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Camping de luxe" on Anglesey

This afternoon we arrived at the campsite of Anglesey-outdoors (near Holyhead). Next weekend there will be a lot of kayakers hanging around here because of the Anglesey Seakayak Symposium. But now it's peaceful, calm and quiet. We have the campsite almost exclusive for ourselves.
Because it's our basecamp for the next 10 days and we decided to camp in style with a big tent and comfortable camping-furniture. We enjoy the luxury of a real table!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New rolling DVD from Helen Wilson

Meeting interesting people on Facebook: Helen Wilson is a talented kayak roller from Arcata, California. Today Helen published a preview of the DVD "Symplifying the roll" - covering the fundamentals of traditional Greenland style rolling. Pre-orders of the DVD on

Btw: in the video Helen uses a Tahe Marine Greenland-kayak - my new favourite ;-)

Kajak Festival 2010

This weekend on Dutch Water Dreams: the second edition of the Dutch Kajakfestival. The program starts on Friday, April 16th. with first runs of the competitions in several disciplines: Dutch Championships (NK) Slalom, BoaterX, Freestyle and White Water racing (Afvaart). On Saturday there's an attractive side-program with demo's, clinics, music and a market-place. Free entrance! See you in Zoetermeer!