During the week we’d seen many vehicles with sea kayaks on roofs driving the roads of Pembrokeshire and on Friday evening they all began to arrive on a quiet little lane in Newport for the first West Wales Sea Kayak Meet.
One of the main aims of the event was to catch up with old friends and make new ones so it made sense to visit the pub for the evening! Trips for the following day were discussed and experiences we’d had since our last meeting were talked about.
Throughout the night more people arrived and by the time of the 8am (!?!?) briefing 86 sea kayakers had turned out, some from as far afield as the Netherlands. A variety of trips were put forward, from a sheltered Pwll Gwealod to Fishguard route to the more advanced Bishops and Ramsey Sound Trip.
I ran a trip from Poppit to Newport, taking in the Witches Couldron, partly because I fancied riding the waves that the forecast NW 4-5 wind would generate but also because many people go looking for the Couldron never to find it!
As we left Poppit sands heading for Camaes Head it soon became apparent that my group was very capable, it took me a good five minutes to catch up after stopping to take a photo.
The group were very impressed with the strata of Camaes Head, it is kind of special!
It wasn’t long before we were ticking away the miles, the swell picking up off each headland providing a nice following sea to play with for short distances. After a short stop to check out a blow hole we were heading through a dark tunnel to come out of the other side.
Not long after, we entered the Witches Couldron and it was time for lunch. People were very impressed with this collapsed cave and it’s tunnels of to the sides, well who wouldn’t be?
After lunch we continued on, the F4-5 wind never really materialising. We passed Seal Bay (not sure why it’s called that as there’s never any seals there) but we did see one a little farther on.
Another little surf in the following sea saw us round the corner into Newport Bay and time to play in the small surf on the beach before we headed up the estuary to the boat club. A great paddle with great company.
In the evening we all congregated at Newport Boat Club for a bar b q and shared our adventures of the day. It seemed some people were not expecting the long trips between get out points!
In spite of the cloud cover, the sunset didn’t disappoint!
There were a few weary heads the next morning but once again trips were planned that would accommodate all. Some were off to Skokholm and others for rockhopping around Solva. I headed to Porthain to ride the tide south to Aberieddy and north back to Porthgain.
Unlike Saturday the forecast was exactly as described and the race at Pen Clegyr produced some interesting wind against tide conditions. The surf at Treath Llyfn was great and Aberieddy was little disappointing but the paddling into the Blue Lagoon wasn’t.
We had lots of time to eat ice cream and drink coffee before the tide turned and it was nice to enjoy the sunshine.
Our return to Porthgain didn’t take long. The tide had only just started to run and people took the opportunity of calmer seas to check out some of the caves on route. And so ended another great day on the water with some great people, hopefully we’ll all paddle together again soon.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make this weekend the success that it was, in particular Pip and Amanda who helped out shore side checking everyone on and off the water. I’d like to say that I booked the weather but I didn’t, it’s always sunny in Pembrokeshire, honest!