Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.^

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Mr Hoppy
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Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.^

Post by Mr Hoppy » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:15 pm

On Sunday myself, Mrs Hoppy (Ruth), ClaireQ and Mr ClaireQ (Mark) decided to take advantage of the good forecast and paddle the stacks. The others hadn't done this paddle before and we've all been a little out of action over the winter so the neap tides allowed a trip to be planned that meant we had an easy trip on one of my favourite section of coastline.

The tides also meant that for the northward trip from Treaddur Bay we could have a lazy start, I certainly appreciated this having spent Saturday night playing polo in Stockport with a resulting late return home. We arrived at Treaddur to see another group taking advantage of the end of the ebb to head towards Rhoscolyn looking very scenic in the distance.

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We had a leisurely change and shuttle beofre starting out towards Porth Dafarch just before midday, at Porth Dafarch we had a quick lunch, the wind whilst light was quite peircing even in the shelter. Once back on the water we paddled round to Penrhyn Mawr to as the run was entering it's 2nd hour, the current was noticeable but the notorious waves of the headland were rather muted as we skirted through on the inside playing in the inshore channels until South Stack came into view. The lighthouse was a little less imposing than usual with the overcast skies not bringing out it's photogenic best.

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As the tide would hardly of turned off South Stack we decided to head into Abrahams Bosom to investigate the caves and rock gardens in the cliffs underneath Elins Tower.

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We popped out of one of the channels to be faced with the sight of South Stack lighthouse standing out into the sea. The cliffs overlooking the light were lined with seabirds already, try as we might to tread lightly some of them left their perches and circled overhead, a fine sight if a little awkward.

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With the calm conditions we decided to squeeze through the rocks in the channel between the island and mainland, and emerged into to Gogarth bay to be met with the huge cliffs. The benign conditions meant it was possible to get right in close to them to really experience the full scale of them.

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As we closed in on North Stack the cliffs became punctured with caves begging to be explored. It was only polite that we obliged them! You can't paddle in without the formulaic out of the cave photo so here we go.

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In the inshore channel at North Stack some small waves were forming allowing some easy surfing, the weather and water temperature did dampen the enthusiasm to stay for too long, and you've got to leave something to come back to in the summer. Rounding North Stack the wild nature of the cliffs dies away to be replaced by the more industrial views as we approached Holyhead. At Soldiers Point we faced the hardest part of the trip, carrying the boats up the steep, loose rocky shore to the cars.

The trip makes for a fantastic paddle for the intermediate paddler in these conditions, it's committing as you can't get out once you're in, but don't let the epic reputation it has from the paddling media hide the fact that the worst of the conditions can be mitigated against with a bit of careful planning and weather watching.

Chris

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MikeB
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by MikeB » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:47 pm

Wonderful - - -

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Yakdiver
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by Yakdiver » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:53 pm

very nice thanks for sharing
Name Richard
Point 65n Sea Cruiser
Ocean Prowler

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:51 pm

Hello Chris, what a great day you hasve had! I particularly like your cave shots and the lone kayaker dwarfed by the cliffs!

Douglas :o)

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soundoftheseagull
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by soundoftheseagull » Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:14 pm

Its a great piece of coast and your post will hopefully encourage others to visit under similar cicumstnces, cheers
Dave

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dpround
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by dpround » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:41 am

I was in the group going the other ways (Snowdonia Canoe Club - end of the month Sunday Paddle.) I was the *reason* they went the other way :( Hopefully, with practice, I will be less of a liability...

David

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tom_kayak
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by tom_kayak » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:34 am

This sounds like a wonderful easygoing tour (if weather is okay).

Chris,
I am very interested in your timing to avoid strong currents:
- At what time did you start at Treaddur Bay?
- and when did you continue at Porth Dafarch?
- approx. passage of the stacks?
- arrival time at Soldiers Point?

You mentioned Penrhyn Mawr entering it´s 2nd hour. When does it start to run?

I hope these questions do not bore you. I´ll be on Holyhead later this year and I am trying to get
information on tides concerning the area.

Thanks a Lot

Tom

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journeyman
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by journeyman » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:44 am

Tom

You might find this of use, it's a route for the stacks with tide info, from Pesda Press book of Welsh Sea Kayaking. Note that this is an abridged version of the trip, get a hold of the book for the full description. Well worth it if you want to paddle any of the Welsh coast.

Eurion

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Ceegee
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by Ceegee » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:14 pm

Hi Journeyman

Tom, who I know from Germany asked me similar by PM recently. IIRC there was a set of tidal flow maps central Irish sea online somewhere. Somebody posted the link here a while back. Bascically a set of maps +6 to -6 HW springs & neaps Morecambe-Aberystwyth.

If you or anybody else recalls, can they post the link here?

(Hi Tom BTW - probably miss Anglesey due to work, but trying to meet up with Cherri Perry & Turner Wilson in Ireland in May)
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by journeyman » Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:52 pm

Tidal Stream Atlas coverage index

NP256 or NP259?

NP256 covers all of the Irish Sea, NP259 is a new one and looks as if it misses out the south of Anglesey but would give more detail for the north than NP256.
I have NP256 and it gives a general idea of what the streams are doing, NP259 might be a better bet for Holyhead. Other than that I'm guessing a pilot book would give more local info, or indeed anyone who paddles there regularly. I understand it's quite popular paddling destination, so there must be paddlers on the forum with more info :).

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tom_kayak
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by tom_kayak » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:12 pm

Hi Eurion,
Hi Steve,
thanks a lot for your help with info on the tidal streams.
I already bought "Welsh Sea Kayaking" and I have a subset of R.Morris "Cruising Anglesey & adjoining waters".
So you can call me lazy not finding out myself how to get around the stacks on neaps......
I simply would like to know the timing from Chris - then I can check if my idea of an easygoing does work.
thanks
Tom
( Hi Steve, I´ll be at the Symp. and also the following week till friday)

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Mr Hoppy
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.

Post by Mr Hoppy » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:51 pm

Hi Tom,

We set off from treaddur bay around about HW Liverpool +3h45 (just after the flood begins off penrhyn mawr), a lazy paddle to Porth Dafarch takes half an hour or so, there's a couple of small sandy bays there for a break. We paddled out of porth Dafarch at about HW Liv +4h45, about 1h15 into the flood off penrhyn mawr and just before the flood starts of South Stack. There was a good current at that point but you could go later on neaps without too much concern. We paddled into Abrahams Bosom so that we arrived at south stack at about +5h30 (an hour into the flood here). We had a steady paddle round to north stack about 30-45 mins later, again the flood was an hour or an hour and a half old and again there was an easy current. Once you are round north stack there is little current so the run to the end takes as long as you want.

We took 3 hours paddling plus half an hour for lunch but we took our time looking in the caves and playing in the rocks, you could do it quicker but that kind of defeats the object of it.

This is based on neaps and good weather, with more tide it quickly becomes more serious.

Chris

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tom_kayak
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.^

Post by tom_kayak » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:49 pm

Hi Chris,
thanks for the timetable!
Bur sorry, I still have a question:
You wrote:
> We set off from treaddur bay around about HW Liverpool +3h45
Looking at the tides on the 30th. Jan 2011 I find: Liverpool (Gladstone Dock) HT8:12h LT15:04h from wxtide
So I suspect you started at 3h45pm on approx. LowTide Liverpool.

Please correct if I´m wrong

Thanks

Tom

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Ceegee
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.^

Post by Ceegee » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:00 pm

Hi Tom,

I should MMOB, but am on my lunch break, and in case Chris doesn't get back.

My reading from what Chris said would be:

HW-L'pool @ 08:12 +3:45 = 11:57 departure

3.5-4 hour trip = ~16:00 arrival i.e. passing the stacks on ~LW L'pool @ ~14:30

If they left at 15:45 would only arrive @ 19:45 i.e. after dark.

Just my 2 cents. Enjoy the trip. Is Regina going with?
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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tom_kayak
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.^

Post by tom_kayak » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:35 pm

Hi Steve,
yes, I should really LOL or even ROFLMAO cause you are absolutely right.
And also yeah: Suddenly Regine wants to paddle the stacks.
happy paddling
tom

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Mr Hoppy
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.^

Post by Mr Hoppy » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:08 pm

Ceegee has it spot on.

Chris

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Ceegee
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Re: Take a walk on the mild side - stacks on neaps.^

Post by Ceegee » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:14 pm

tom_kayak wrote:Suddenly Regine wants to paddle the stacks.
That's not a stack - THIS is a STACK!!!

(sorry Chris, just teasing Tom. Anglesey is Great! - But Tom was supposed to come sample my waters (ooerr missus?) last year and never made it - his loss ;o) - hijack over)

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Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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