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Anglesey Weekend #4 Gallows Point to Menai Bridge by Paul Goetzee

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A person in a kayak on the water Description automatically generated

Anglesey Weekend #4 Gallows Point to Menai Bridge
1st October 2023 Anglesey Weekend #4
Paul Goetzee

A new day, a new plan. Another group of 8, again led by David and Fiona but this time without Chris. We were joined by Brian Green, now a sit-down rather than stand-up paddler. The weather was not much different from the day before, at least in the morning. Blowy and rainy (technical terms). The plan was to set out from Gallows Point at Beaumaris and play around in the Straits between the bridges.

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The wind was against us but we all paddled fairly effortlessly. I soon regretted putting on a dry suit as the sky was clearing and it was very warm. The suit went into the back hatch after lunch and paddling was resumed in my underwear. David said he never puts his dry suit on till November at the earliest. Wise fellow!

Squadrons of oystercatchers took off as we passed them, burning far too many precious calories. We spotted a number of herons, an egret and numerous cormorants. The steep, heavily wooded coast, stacked with very expensive dwellings (the conversation inevitably turning to house prices) drifted by pleasantly.

On we paddled beyond Bangor Pier, poking our noses into the little tributary and on past the islands. The mystery of how a car was parked on one of the islands was solved by someone pointing out that there was a submerged causeway to the mainland. We carried on to the Menai Bridge. Dave had decided the tide had turned by this point and that if we left it any later to get back, we wouldn’t – at least not in kayaks.

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The water was already feeling like treacle as we paddled into a harbour for lunch. Some chat about the recently felled sycamore on Hadrian’s wall and the half-life of plutonium (conversation, as I said, always illuminating) and questions from me about the tidal vagaries of the Straits. After being given analogies to a tipping tray full of water and a bubble, I was still none the wiser. Even when Keith showed me the online tidal chart, it still felt like being back in Geography lessons where you think you get it, but you really don’t. This is no reflection on Keith’s explanation, by the way, more on the reason why I failed O-level Geography.

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Water levels had risen on the way back, necessitating some limbo dancing or ‘salaaming’ under one bridge, to find that the beach we had launched from had vanished. We were left conveying the boats along a precarious breakwater and over a wall. Excellent teamwork by all.

A quick coffee in the ridiculously posh Chateau Rhianfa and then a surprisingly event-free drive back to Liverpool. What’s not to like?

Thanks to David and Fiona for clear leadership and concise briefings.

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