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Anglesey Weekend #4 – Trearddur Bay Saturday 30 September by Neil Mack

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Bwa Gwyn/Bwa Du and Trearddur Bay Saturday 30 September.

The previous evening, LCC team leaders were asked where they wanted to paddle the following day. The weather forecast wasn’t looking brilliant for a west coast paddle. Constant SW swinging to SE during the day with wind strengths f4 gusting to f6 and strong f7 with rain for mid-afternoon meant the probability of large seas out of the protection of the bays around the west. The more sensible option would be to head for the serene, probably windless seas off the north coast to enjoy a classic club paddle with the playful porpoise.

Our leader, James, chose to take our team for a West Coast paddle with a focus on practising skills. From the promenade at Trearddur, the bay looked benign, with some swell breaking on Magnet Rock in the centre of the bay. We could see on the horizon how dynamic Penryn Mawr was. It was building up! We were on the water well before 10 a.m

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The aim was to focus on skills development in some upper moderate water and to give Gary the opportunity to practice some team leading with the safety net of an experienced team leader and assistant. The objective was to warm up in Trearddur Bay, head up to Ravens Point to assess the conditions and practice our 360-degree turns in the chunky stuff before deciding to head towards the Bwa Gwyn and Bwa Du (The Arches), a round trip of 6km approx. The wind had picked up, and the seas were building but we assessed it to be within the moderate remit so on we went. With the wind in our face, we rounded Ravens Point taking a wider arc out as this was our safest option. Soon the sea had settled into a more predicable behaviour albeit still ‘chunky’ and in we went towards the Bwa Gwyn (White Arch). 

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Within 45 mins we arrived, incident free.  While it would have been possible to enter the Bwa Gwyn gully, getting out would have been problematic, the swell was barrelling in from the lower gully entrance. We never even considered Bwa Du, given the swell conditions. So with discretion being the better part of valour we turned around and headed back. There’ll be more opportunities to explore these wonderful gullies another day. They’re not going anywhere quickly. 

The return journey offered a new dynamic along with the swell, that of a downwind paddle back. Soon some of the team were using the conditions to good effect, with great surf skills being demonstrated by Gary and Tom. We had a small incident when we had a swimmer, but always looking to turn it into a positive, we got to practice a deep-water rescue and rafted tow in a dynamic environment. It wasn’t long before everyone made their way past Raven Point unaided and headed to Flagpole Bay for lunch and morning be-brief.

The afternoon session was spent surfing around Magnetic Rock. This always looks intimidating, with seas crashing in especially when strong southerly winds blow, but for those that know it, the area offers high exhilaration and low risk, and with the right conditions, good surf. 

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For an hour or so we surfed. when the rain arrived, the winds grew stronger and tiredness was setting in, we came off the water at around 2 p.m. A short day? Perhaps, but filled with adrenaline-fuelled action and exhilaration, plenty of smiles along the way, and the chance to practice skills in testing but safe conditions. We had all earned our tea and cake!

Thanks go to James for his overall leadership of Gary and Tim Edwards, Phil Lloyd, Eamon Hanlon and Neil Mack. 

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