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Three paddle to Llanwrst

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Three go to Llanwrst.

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After watching the forecast (my new hobby) for a number of days and weighing up multiple options that ranged from Walney Island, through to the Mersey then out towards Treaddur Bay. It was almost a write off due to a spring tide and a tricky F4 northerly easterly wind. Till Andy suggested the Conwy Estuary, Kevin also up for a challenge in tow, we set off for Conwy.

Looking at the map it would have some exposed bits but plenty of potential escape routes and having a well-placed local on standby we gave it a go!

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Spring tide with HW Liverpool being on 9.5m and when we set off at 0940hrs the tide was in full flow so we enjoyed flying past the moored boats and we were quickly under the bridges where the tidal assistance began to slow, but we were still averaging about 7mph.

After plenty of chat we were at Dolgarrog the end of the Conwy Ascent within 1hr 25min and well ahead of schedule. We agreed to progress on and see how far we could get. Jim’s guide makes reference to Llanwrst on a good day!

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We continued and decided upon reaching about 200m before the Normal Tidal Limit to stop for lunch where Andy almost lost his cap to a native sheep, but the potential of reaching Llanwrst was looming, especially with the flow still strong up stream. A quick chat and we were in agreement lets see how far we could get. We passed the NTL with relative ease and then the Iron bridge at Llanwrst came into view. The water got a bit shallower but pushing out right we found a way through. We managed to get within about 200m of the stone bridge in Llanwrst and the scene of the most flooded café in the world before a quick ditch of a layer and an about turn. It had taken us 2hrs 18 to reach this point with the timer stopping at lunch.

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The journey back initially was slower, and we were feeling the 10mph northerly with the occasional shelter, the chat was limited as we put heads down and pushed on. As we got further down the estuary the tidal flow increased, and we began to quicken our pace to almost 6.5mph again. Before we knew it (not at the time) Conwy Castle came into view and we were back zipping passed the moored boats.

This was a big paddle today and somewhat out of the ordinary, a one-way paddle would be a great trip, but also would stopping at Dolgarrog and having a leisurely lunch! Curiosity got the better of me and I had two very willing companions! Interestingly despite the head wind the return took us only 14 min longer! Off water at 1520, somewhat fatigued.

HW Conwy: 1149 @ 8.16m

HW Liverpool: 1215 @ 9.50m

Distance Paddled: 27.32 miles

Paddle Time: 5hrs 2min.

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