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Porth Dafarch to Trearddur Bay by Christine and Andy Bond

Week 6 of the Sea Kayak Leaders training trips.  How has it come to week 6 already?  A great group to learn with, and learn we have, starting with Premier Inn do a great pre trip breakfast at Parc Menai, the location of the pre-trip meet for several of our outings.

Week 6 brings some reflection and put some ghosts (or is that nightmares) to rest.  Our start point this week changed from Trearddur Bay (no parking left) to Porth Dafarch which had provided a challenge and change in trip plan a few weeks before, due to the waves and sea conditions!! This time weather and sea conditions had moderated, with Windfinder predicting some sunshine, gentle winds and decreasing wave heights during the day.

We started with the usual leader talk, followed by a summary of everyone’s new kit since starting the course.  It was wide ranging, from new boats to map cases, maps, PLBs and helmets – something very much in need for our paddle on Saturday.

We headed with the Ebb tide towards Trearddur Bay with each group member taking a turn in leading the group on different sections of the trip.  This part of the trip was mainly exploring the rocks and how the sea behaves, or not, around the rocks.  This resulted in 4 unplanned rescues in a short time gap!  One caught sideways on a wave and completing a 360◦ somersault – 10/10 for artistic performance…. We all certainly learnt a lot about real life rescues as opposed to those planned and practiced in calmer water!!  

We had a short lunch stop just before Trearddur Bay to check boats and paddlers, and to agree on the afternoon’s paddle.  One option was to go straight back due to the effect of the cold on the swimmers, but it was decided to continue into Trearddur Bay and onwards around the rocks to the caravan park, just beyond Ravens Point.  This gave us some bouncy conditions, which the group managed well. After a short break it was then time to head back, so a bay crossing with a little tuition on navigation using compass bearings, to Porth Afon, with the flood tide. Then the last leg, no time for rock hopping as the light was reducing and sunset closing in.

As we arrived back at Porth Dafarch and not to miss out on a swim for the day, a few of the group tried some rolling (some succeeding and others not!) before boat loading, changing and heading to the Seacroft. Here we could relax, warm up with a hot drink or in some cases a beer, then have some much-needed food. More than anything we enjoyed great company and looked forward to seeing everyone again soon for another trip, maybe with a little less excitement!!

The group have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions with Dave and Fiona. On reflection our learning had included, amongst other things: map reading, using compass bearings and other navigation tools, lots of new terminology, paddling techniques and most importantly how to plan a trip safely, within remit and conditions we feel comfortable in.  A big thank you to Dave and Fiona from all of the group and to the group as a whole for great company on the water.

Write up by Christine and Andy Bond

1 thought on “Porth Dafarch to Trearddur Bay by Christine and Andy Bond”

  1. A great finale! Thanks to you both and the rest of the team for some memorable and fun sessions. And especially to Dave & Fi for putting so much time and effort into sharing their knowledge and giving us an insight into what it takes to become a sea kayak leader. See you all out on the water!