by Wendy Bridgstock
You know those parties that you don't want to go to but have a great time when you're there? Well, Anglesey was like that for me. I would rather go to Scotland, but our leader said Anglesey, so off we went.
When we arrived on the Friday night, the Wests, Broadleys and Waddingtons had commandeered a corner of the camping field, so the rest of us filled in the gaps.
Saturday morning involved a little waiting around for the tides to be right (oh yeh?!?!), then a little more waiting around until we all found the same beach at Nefyn (thank goodness for mobile phones).
Eventually Pete, Kath, Nick, Mark, Andy, Kay and myself got on the water and paddled left. It was beautiful weather, calm seas, good company, then back to the beach we had set off from for lunch. Convenient for Mark to pick up his car keys, as his car was the shuttle at the other end.
Kay and Nick threading their way between rocks east of Nefyn
Back on the water and turned right. Foreshore-coastscape (what IS the word?) was more interesting from the water than it appeared from the land side, with fairly high cliffs, reminiscent of the back of the Garvellachs, a few caves and the odd seal.
Wendy paddling into one of numerous caves on the way
There are quite a lot of mining ruins as well, which you can't see from the road. Pete was in seventh heaven!
Ynys-bach, the biggest (and smelliest) of the stacks, just by Trefor
See the route on an OS map
Good crack on the campsite that night. Our "little" group numbered about twenty!
Next day it was planned - yes, planned - to go to South and North Stack. Beautiful day, again. Second choice of launching beach as the first was chokka with tourists (how dare they!).
On the water that day were Pete, Pete (aka Haggisman), Kath, Nick, Mary, Mark, Kay, Ann and me. I went along with some trepidation, as last time I had done this trip we had lots of people falling over, and plenty of rough stuff. It's just amazing what a difference it makes when the tide is at a different state. It didn't seem like the same place, in fact Nick and I had to have a really good look round before we were convinced it was The Fangs.
We had to wait for the tide, so stopped for lunch. Getting out wasn't easy, but I found a massive turn of speed when Pete shouted that the wake from the ferry was coming in to the bay!
After lunch we continued towards Holyhead Island and watched the climbers on Dream of White Horses. Surreal.
Turning the corner after the Stacks we encountered more wake from the vehicle ferry, which made the next stretch a little bumpy, but it eventually died down. There was definitely talk of rolling practise as we made our way to the beach at Soldiers Point against Holyhead Harbour breakwater, but the idea quickly evaporated as soon as we landed.
The weather on Monday wasn't quite so good, with a bit of wind. Nonetheless, Pete, Mary, Kay, Pete and myself got on the water to paddle to Red Wharf Bay. I wimped it first, and we came back to the beach after about half an hour being jockeyed around by biggish haystack shaped waves. Lunch ensued (always eat and drink every time you stop!) then Pete, Pete, Kay and Mary decided to circumnavigate Puffin Island. When they returned, they agreed it had been a little choppy, but they had the benefit of returning with the wind behind them.
All in all, it was a beautiful weekend. Pete had spent a lot of time working out the tides and journeys, and it all worked out beautifully.