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Conwy Estuary by Philippa Leddra

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Conwy Estuary 12th of June

This trip was a transition sea paddle down the Conwy Estuary to introduce some of us to the tides, currents, winds and waves that come with sea kayaking. It was my first time on such a trip and the more experienced paddlers that took us were just wonderful. Roger met Beccy and I at the compound to grab boats and then we drove down to the Conwy marina.

We started on the beach and the weather was warm but a little cloudy. We headed up the estuary inland towards the castle and there were a few tricky currents to navigate. I honestly thought I would end up upside down at various points, but all was well, and I was just being a wimp. We paddled under the castle, which was a magnificent view in the sunshine. In the woods just past the castle there were so many Heron and Egrets in the trees above us.

We continued inland where the views were spectacular. I practiced my edging at varying rates of success and with the patient help of Ian, and just about the time I thought my arms might fall off we stopped for lunch. We pulled up on the bank of the river and where we could see the mountains ahead of us and ate lunch in she cloudy sunshine. We watched the water and got back in at about 2:10pm as the tide turned, which was coordinated by Roger who had done the same trip the day before and had made note of the time – the whole way there I thought the time of 2:10 was so wonderfully specific there must be a very clever way of working it out, so this seemed like cheating when I found out he had been there the day before.

On the way back there were a few speed boats and so we had to navigate the waves they caused. This was a little unnerving to begin with but after some encouragement to put power into my forward paddle and to cut straight through them from the more experienced paddlers this became really fun.

Just as we paddled under the castle again the winds picked up and paddling back to the beach became a slog – not to be dramatic or anything, but I thought I might end up living in the kayak under the bridge. I begged the others to leave me behind, to go on without me, to save themselves, and before I knew it, we were back on the beach.

We paddled 12 miles I was told, and it was a fantastic introduction to sea kayaking. I can’t recommend it enough or thank my fellow paddlers for taking such good care of us enough.