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Pembrokeshire Bank Holiday Weekend – Saturday

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Part one of an LCC double weekender – Pembrokeshire by Frankie A

Saturday

When the calendar was populated with the sea kayaking weekends there were 2 back to back weekends. Immediate annual leave request meant that May was starting with plenty of time on the sea. Arriving just in time on Saturday morning for the 9am briefing – I went to the launch point to make sandwiches and missed the briefing. I knew the launch point and the rough plan.

Trip leaders identified on the beach below the campsite, we divided into 2 groups – apparently group A was the fast group and group B the slow group. After 4.5 hours driving slow was fine by me. The plan was to rock hop our way round Dinas Head to Newport Sands, where Keith had booked table 17 at the Sailing club for a meal for us all. On the way we needed to be sure to avoid the nesting birds on the Needle Rock.

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The forecast looked good (from what I can recall) though there was a chance that the wind might pick up slightly in the afternoon. Under the supervision of Ian and Keith we meandered our way choosing which rocks to hop and which to avoid – though some people attempted every likely looking gap and how boats fit through some narrow gaps I do not know. There were caves, rock gardens and sunshine and a blow hole – everyone had a go at the sitting up by the blow hole game – sea water shower if you got close enough

A person in a kayak on the water

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Elevenses was an opportunity to meet up with the other group. As we approached Keith did comment they were on the wrong beach, with the partial ruin of a church and benches to sit on.

We’d barely arrived when group A departed. Elevenses done we continued around the coast navigating the Needle and the Cat. There was some debate as to why the rocks were named the Cat. We don’t know and the Welsh guidebook didn’t provide an explanation either.

A kayak on the water

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With the possibility of running out of water we slogged up the channel at Newport sands and grabbed a table for lunch at the sailing club – it was table 17!! Whilst enjoying our lunch – we were approached by the secretary of Newport Sands Sailing Club, now the signs did say members and guests only so there was a moment of concern until in dulcet Welsh tones we were asked if we were local as the sailing club was keen to start a kayaking section and they were looking to recruit us. So if anyone fancies moving down to Pembrokeshire the Newport Sands Sailing club are looking for an enthusiastic knowledgeable sea kayaker to start their paddling section up.

Eventually we caught sight of the fast group heading round the sand bank, the advance party arrived and once Martin realised he could buy a burger the rest of his group were summoned to slog up to the sailing club. A head count on arrival revealed 2 of the group had elected to sleep on the beach they had landed on instead of slogging anywhere.

Group B left Martin eating his burger and got back on the water as the tide was turning, the wind also picked up slightly so there was a bit more sea state on the return trip, with some wind against tide to be considered. Group B picked up the 2 sleeping beauties who were ready to return and we navigated the coastline back with much less rock hopping and some careful thought about which gaps to go through and which ones to avoid. The return paddle was really good fun with more sea state and a little more effort was required at some points. A quick stop at the correct elevenses beach at Cwm Yr Eglwys allowed the church ruins to be explored – quickly before getting back to the cars.

A stone building with a bell tower

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Everyone made it back to the beach to sort boats and gear before the very short drive back to the campsite to get ready for the LCC Saturday night BBQ and reflect on a great day on the water.

Frankie A