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2023 LCC Celtic Sea Kayaking Trip Day 09 Sunday – Castle d ChodenTeddi to Surprise Cove by Ian Bell

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Day 09 Sunday – Kenmore River Pine Trees at Castle d ChodenTeddi to Surprise Cove with the swing by Ian Bell

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Despite the wind during the night we all enjoyed a relatively sheltered night thanks to the pines which surrounded our overnight campsite at Castle d ChodenTeddi. We were early on the water just as it started to rain. We donned our sea touring hoods and set off heading West. We passed the Castle and little harbour heading towards the possible campsites from the evening before. We definitely made a good choice to stop where we did as each of the options were pretty poor.

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We tried to hide from the worst of the weather by ducking between each of the islands and explored very narrow channels. The first at Rossmore Island was only just passable at half-tide by kayaks. Chris managed to pole his way through the narrows and under the low arched bridge connecting the island to the mainland.

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We paddles across a bay, Coongar Harbour and had elevenses (Early lunch) at an idyllic sandy bay on a peninsular of land (Brackross) with a lovely house and pontoon. It would have made a great campsite, but the beach was obviously man-made and the grass path behind had be mown recently to produce a lawn / path to the beach.

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We paddled on towards Parknasilla (a large golf and upmarket holiday resort). We found a narrow passage and another arched bridge over a channel which saved paddling around the exposed end of the island. The castle and hotels were packed (well a handful of people on every beach). There was a very large sandy / swampy flooded river valley at Parknasilla which was best avoided as it probably would have been midge infested.

Sharky Island was away to our left offshore. Although attractive it did not seem to have an easy landing or suitable camping as it looked far too rocky. The proposed campsite by the Rowing club was looking like a big ask and would involve at least another 3 hours of paddling. It was now 4pm and around the next corner we happened across a narrow cleft between the rocks with what looked like a sheltered beach beyond.

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Chirs was the first to venture in for a look. It proved to be a very sheltered landing, had water supply and a swing on the beach! It was awarded 5 stars immediately and it was clear we were staying the night. Camping was on the flat grass above the cove. The kayaks were tied up on the top of the beach, tents erected and cooking stuff transported to the rocks and evening breeze which kept any midges largely at bay.

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The view from surprise cove was fantastic, the weather had improved, clouds and rain departed, and we could see across the sound with Sharky Island in the distance. Although we had not gone as far as we liked, we were glad to follow the idiom of “never passing up the opportunity of a 5-star campsite”, (Unless a known one of better quality is ahead and a certainty)

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