Four of us (Nigel, Joanne and Stephanie and me ) paddled up from Conwy Castle to just short of Maenan Abbey on the flood tideand then back down on the ebb tide. A beautiful day out with bright sunshine, fine views of the snow capped Carneddau and lots of bird watching opportunities on the up stream leg.
We launched about 1 hour 45 minutes after low water as the flood was just starting to make up at the Castle. With the river at a very low level starting any earlier would probably have been too soon; as it was we briefly lost the channel at a couple of points and found ourselves aground on sand banks for a moment or two.
Chris Sladden refers to a tidal rapid on the ebb tide just above Tal y Cafn but we saw no sign of this and I guess this may only come into being for a fairly short time towards the end of the ebb.
The return journey was much quicker than the outward leg partly due to the force of the ebb combining with a back wind and the natural flow of the river but also due to the distance paddled being significantly reduced by just being able to paddle straight down the river without all the entertaining wandering about following the main channel which we had to do on the up stream leg.
Strong winds against tide (flood or ebb) would make one or other leg of this trip fairly hard work.
Not a trip for short boats unles the people in them like being left behind. Excellent for open boats or long kayaks.