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Anglesey Weekend #3 – Stormy Saturday

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Anglesey Weekend #3 – Stormy Saturday photos by Andrew Broddle

We had a few drop outs but the campsite is great and so friendly with Alison and David welcoming us. It is an ideal location in Trearddur, quiet and secure with a massive camping field close to the toilet block and showers. The small campsite shop has basic items and the onsite pub serves food and often has a live singer on a Friday and Saturday night.

This year we had John and Andy provide us with live guitar and singing around the BBQ – this was a truely great additon. It maybe time to revive the LCC band.

The strong winds forecast overnight was slowly moving back towards the morning and the only option was a trip on the Menai Straits. With a late afternoon high tide it was ideal for a two-way trip from the Mermaid Cottages to Menai Bridge via Port Dinorwic and to return on the ebbing tide. Click for the Tidal Stream Atlas for the Menai Straits…….

The friendly beach near the Mermaid Cottages. There is a better beach just past the cottages but it only had room for a couple of cars.

We all arrived at the Mermaid Cottages and parked on the road which had plenty of parking and easy access to the straits. Forming two groups we got on the water at about half-tide and paddle up towards Plas Menai (Wales National Watersports Centre). Neil`s group stopped off for an unscheduled stop while Sue, now overheating, decided to take off her drysuit mid-channel. Disaster adverted we landed at Port Dinorwic (Y Felinheli) for elevenes (well 11:55 es). This is an ideal alternative start location with toilets, friendly slate beach, limited by free parking and a pub.

We headed off towards the statue of Horatio Nelson and took a few photos before taking the tide through the Britannia Bridge.

Lord Clarence Paget, art lover and sculptor and former Lord of the Admiralty, had used concrete to create statues for his estate as it was much cheaper than marble and more durable in the exposed environment of North Wales.
Apparently, the Admiralty were surveying the Menai Strait at the time and suggested that if an already planned statue were to change location slightly it would serve as a navigation aid to local mariners navigating this difficult stretch of water. The suggestion was accepted by Lord Clarence and the statue was erected in 1873.

Just past Britannia Bridge, we happened across two other groups of sea kayakers playing on the tide. They kindly moved over and we had a go at breaking in and out and made the most of the last of the tide. We then took a look at the Swellies Rock (marked by a South Cardinal post) which still had a little wave. We then headed over to the beach below the Menai Suspension bridge to take a long lunch.

Britannia Bridge and the Swellies Rock in the Distance

After lunch, the tide had changed to head South but some went to look at it pouring between the arches of the suspension bridge. They soon returned and both groups head off towards the Swellies and the moving water. 3 even stayed a “long” while at the Swellies Post before joining us at Plas Newydd to explore the boat house and outdoor pool and harbour. We spent some time debating the purpose and use of the boat house cave under the gardens and I am not sure we managed to resolve an answer.

We spent some time debating the purpose and use of the boat house cave under the gardens and I am not sure we managed to resolve an answer

Andy G was chased down by an angry sailor in a yacht but it turned out it was his friend who just came over to say Hi. The tide soon sped us down towards the sand bar and our finish at the Mermaid Cottages. It is a real shame the Mermaid Inn is no longer in business and this would have rounded off an almost perfect day, given the gusty and force 7 winds of the morning.

Click for more Photos………..

Our finish at the Mermaid Cottages