Puffin Island 4th April 2009

As a bit of a last minute punt, myself and Bill Maisey decided to head up to the Menai Straits to paddle from Beaumaris round Puffin Island and back. The plan was to catch the end of the NE tide to the headland cross over to the island, take our time paddling round have some lunch and catch the start of the SW tide back to the car.

After a slightly muddy start we made good progress up the Menai straits with the wind and tide behind us. We were treated to fantastic views of the Snowdonia mountains to one side, Puffin Island ad Great Orme in front of us and Anglesey to the other side. Very soon we arrived at Trwyn Penmon as the sun came out so that even the doleful ringing of the bell couldnt dampen our spirits.

The winds were kicking up a reasonable sized sea so we decided to head to the north and paddle with this. We were watched by the seabirds that covered the cliffs and got buzzed by a puffin as we headed to the far end of the Island. At the end we found our 1st group of seals who spied on us as we brewed up on the flatter rocks.

Heading back we were faced with the brunt of the F4-5 winds making progress tough but we knew that the tide would kick in shortly. Unfortunately the promising current that showed as we crossed back to Anglesey disappeared very quickly and we were faced with a slack water paddle into the wind being funnelled up the straits meaning that our progressed was slowed. On the bright side being slowed down did mean that we arrived back at the car without too much mud to cross to get out.

A great trip and one that can be managed even with reasonably poor conditions.

Chris

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