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Llandudno to Puffin Island 10th July by Chris Bolton

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Llandudno to Puffin Island 10th July by Chris Bolton

I’d been a club member for 18 months, but due to being disorganised (and the pandemic) I’d never actually done any trips. Keith’s email on Friday asked if anyone was interested in a paddle on Sunday, 2-3 hours to an island, and that was my chance. It turned out to be two islands, a big one that we landed on (Anglesey/Môn) and a smaller one that we paddled around (Puffin Island/Ynys Seriol).

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Llandudno to Puffin Island is a 9.5km open crossing, although because the main Welsh coast is running parallel, it doesn’t feel like it, even though the coast is always further away than either end. We started from Llandudno Bay, rather than West Shore, just to minimise the amount of beach to be crossed, but it also meant we had the Great Orme to add interest.

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High pressure meant blue sky and light winds. There were low clouds on the NW horizon, but very different clouds over Wales; high cirrus and bands of mist around the mountains, and the N coast of Anglesey was in the mist.

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The crossing was uneventful, and 2:30 after leaving Llandudno Lifeboat Station we landed at Trwyn Du, the NE point of Anglesey, for a relaxed lunch and sunbathing. We pretended we were waiting for the tide to turn, but it wasn’t really strong enough to matter. Paddling up the SE side of Puffin Island, the sea breeze was against us. The seals on the N end of Puffin Island are very relaxed about kayaks. I kept clear, being used to Scottish seals and not wanting to disturb them, but Keith and Ian knew better so got better photos. The island is also home to a huge number of birds, so I guess the rats that used to prey on the eggs have been eliminated.

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The crossing back was slightly slower, due to the wind being NW rather than N, and we saw a number of yachts sailing apparently aimlessly, probably waiting for the tide to rise sufficiently to enter Conwy Marina. The mist over the land became heavier, but never looked like affecting visibility. As we approached the Gt Orme, the tide picked up speed and, deflected by the headland, ran against the wind creating a few waves. After passing the lighthouse, we kept offshore to avoid the tidal eddy, and looped into the bay, also avoiding the eddy behind Pen Trywn. Thanks to Keith and Ian for a great day out, and 22 miles under our belts.

More Photos…….