UKH

Safe sea kayaking venues

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 Dave the Rave 25 Sep 2021

Morning all.

We are heading to Anglesey this afternoon with 2 sit on kayaks. 
I normally go to this cove on the south coast near rhosneigr.

Looking at the forecast, winds SW 20 mph and a receding tide, this cove could be a little choppy.

We have a beginner who wants to use the kayak too.

Can anyone suggest a more sheltered venue on the south coast of Anglesey that’s not prone to rips.

I prefer the wind to be blowing to shore rather than offshore.

Thanks a lot

Dave

Post edited at 09:43
1
 kevin stephens 25 Sep 2021
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Tomorrow’s forecast is serious even for experienced sea kayakers, there are quite a few on UKC. F5 winds and a very big swell is likely to result in losing contact with a SOT kayak and being smashed up in the surf. I haven’t paddled a SOT but I imagine they are more difficult to paddle in wind than a sit in kayak. Llyn Padarn can be a great venue in difficult conditions, sporting but relatively safe. Alternatively the Inland Sea on Anglesey may be an option but again very exposed to SW wind.

 Dave the Rave 25 Sep 2021
In reply to kevin stephens:

Thanks for that Kevin, is that the forecast for this afternoon or tomorrow?

Which site do you get this info from, it would be good to use in the future. 

 kevin stephens 25 Sep 2021
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Tomorrow, I initially thought you were travelling today and paddling tomorrow. I use the free apps Windy and Windfinder, both give excellent info on wind and swell forecast. For tides I use the ap Absolute Tides, it has a modest annual subscription.

 Dave the Rave 25 Sep 2021
In reply to kevin stephens:

Thanks Kevin.

Yes, we are only an hour away.

Ive looked at several sites now for swell and wind and it looks promising.

High tide 1330 so it will be going out when we get there, and onshore winds but not heavy. Swell 0.2 m at 8 secs.

One site says seas suitable for swimming.

Will put the boats on and have a look I think when we get there.

They are rigid SOTs and handled well in wind the other week in Mallaig.

Thanks for your time.

Dave 

 kevin stephens 25 Sep 2021
In reply to Dave the Rave: Sounds great, have fun.

 deepsoup 25 Sep 2021
In reply to Dave the Rave:

I hope you had (are having) a good time on the water as I write.

It's difficult to avoid a southerly wind on the south coast of course.  You're wise to want to avoid an offshore wind, but if I'd seen your post in time I think I would have been recommending a North coast venue* for shelter even so.  (From relatively moderate winds, not as strong as forecast for tomorrow.)

'Rips' - which I take to mean strong currents flowing directly away from a beach out to sea, are not a tidal phenomenon and not something that anywhere on Anglesey is prone to.  They're more something that's associated with surf, and while there are lots of very strong tidal currents flowing around Anglesey it's extremely rare to get big surf there.  (Because the big long-fetch swell coming in off the Atlantic is almost always intercepted by Ireland before it gets there!)

Except where bays, river estuaries and the like are filling and emptying with the tide, tidal currents around the UK generally tend to flow more or less parallel to the shore and the times of 'slack water' when they stop and/or change direction don't generally coincide with high/low water at the same place.  (So tide tables aren't always helpful on their own for telling you about what the tidal currents will be doing.)

Windy, Windfinder and XC Weather are all quite popular, but my preferred forecast for wind/swell is Wind Guru.

https://www.windguru.cz/70

Magic Seaweed can also be useful.

There are tidal stream atlases available to give you an idea of the tidal currents flowing around the coast, but they're mainly aimed at yachties operating further out so often lack the kind of detail that'd be more useful to a paddler.  The Welsh Sea Kayaking guide book is very good but currently out of print, hopefully the new edition will be along soonish.  You can get a look at very broad-brush tidal stream atlases for free (along with some good general info about tides generally) at 'Visit My Harbour' here:

https://www.visitmyharbour.com/articles/3180/hourly-tidal-streams-irish-sea-and-bristol-channel

The numbers on those charts are speeds in tenths of a knot for neaps and springs, so "23,41" for example means 2.3 knots on an average neap tide and 4.1 knots on springs.

I don't know if you're a 'taking a course' kind of a guy, but a one-day BC 'Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning' course might be worth your time and (not very much) money.  The Franco Ferrerro 'Sea Kayak Navigation' book is good too.

* - My belated suggestion for a sheltered potter about a bay somewhere this afternoon would have been Porth Eilan I think, from Llaneilan.  There's a powerful tidal flow past Point Lynas that starts running West around 30 minutes before HW Liverpool (so a bit before 2pm today), but you're well sheltered from that in the bay and as it's running West there'd be no chance of getting stranded on the wrong side of the headland even if you did venture out there.  (Once it got going on a big tide like today you probably couldn't paddle round the point even if you tried to.)  A Southerly wind is offshore there, but as long as you stayed reasonably close in I don't think you'd really feel it at all.

 Dave B 25 Sep 2021
In reply to kevin stephens:

Absolute tides also had the tidal flows on it, all be them at a fairly low resolution. They are essentially the admiralty charts reproduced under licence. 

They aren't quite accurate near to shore where I live,... They turn a bit sooner then they say,, so watch out for that if it's a new area to you. 

I'm a happy subscriber to the app anyway.

 kevin stephens 25 Sep 2021
In reply to Dave B:

Yes the tidal flows copied from the atlases are useful for an overall picture of an area, but charts pilots and guidebooks are more useful for actual planning

 Dave the Rave 25 Sep 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

Thanks so much deepsoup for your informed post, I’ll have a proper look tomorrow.

Just got back and have had a great day.

Roads and beach very quiet presumably due to the fuel situation.

We went to Cable Bay as usual which proved quite sheltered from the wind. It’s protected for about 1/2 mile by the headland and 200 m across. Had a reasonable swell today but no white tops. Lovely for the SOTs. Walked around the headland and it was a different story. Quite large waves and white tops.

Tooped off with fish and chips and a great sunset.

Hope everyone’s had a great day too.

Regards

Dave

 deepsoup 26 Sep 2021
In reply to Dave B:

> Absolute tides also had the tidal flows on it, all be them at a fairly low resolution.

Ooh, that looks cool.  I'll have a play with that, ta.  I think I'm in the market for another tide app since Tide7 finally stopped working.  (They've been out of business for years, but I guess they had a subscription to something somewhere that has only just run out.)

 Fruit 27 Sep 2021
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Hi,

I realise this isn’t directly relevant to your question, but no one seems to have mentioned the British Canoeing Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning course. I found it very useful, despite having many years experience messing about in boats and around sea cliffs.

hope you had a fun day.


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