Saturday 20 October 2018

18th October 2018 - Paddling the lights

Once again inspired by Jim Krawiecki's excellent Northern England and IOM 50 Great Sea Kayak Voyages book, I'd spent the last few weeks consulting tide tables, weather forecasts and sun set times.
Finally an evening with light winds and a high tide an hour and a half after dusk came round and a school night adventure was in prospect.
With the boats loaded, three quarters of the team headed down the motorway to the town that has given a moniker to so many others: Paris, the Blackpool of the South; Las Vegas, the Blackpool of the West and Shanghai, the Blackpool of the East.
When it comes down to it though, there is only one Blackpool and what better welcome sign than a high end black Merc, across two lanes of traffic, surrounded by broken glass, pursuing policemen and an assortment of their abandoned vehicles.
We spotted the final member of our team a short distance further down the road and unloaded the boats at the top of the extremely convenient slip. Geared up and with Holyhead coastguard aware of our intetentions we left the sandy beach and headed due north, the sun becoming ever lower on our port beams.

Following a path parallel to the coast the first of three piers stuck out into the sea ahead of us. With it being light and with virtually no swell, their was no choice but to head under it. It's not often we paddle with a soundtrack and I'm not sure that the strains of karaoke from above would really suit any other paddle than this.

As the sun dipped below the horizon the lights of the illuminations came on, there was going to be no problem with navigation on this trip and my head torch was beginning to feel superfluous. 

After north pier, a quieter section of coast was pinpointed with the incredibly bright lights of fishermen at regular intervals. Asked very politely by the first to move further off shore we wondered just how far they were able to cast. 
At the end of the lights we turned around and headed back south, the lights now in their full glory.

The smell of donuts and chocolate pervaded the air as we once again threaded through the piers and I realised it had been quite a while since lunch.  I needn't have been too concerned as in an incrediblely timed piece of team work, we had just finished tieing on the boats when Trevor appeared with fish and chips, a fantastic end to a very memorable trip.

Huge thanks to Dick, Gareth and Trevor for sharing the adventure and especially to Trevor for treating us all to a fish supper.