Friday, October 29, 2010

Storm Gathering Eve

The long journey from Manchester started at 7 o'clock this morning. The first stop was at Preston Brook to collect a couple of P&H Delphins. There was also a special treat in store. Fresh out of the mould was a prototype of the Delpin's composite 'big brother', 'Aries'. I'll be playing with this beauty for most of this coming weekend.

After a long drive to Berwick-upon-Tweed, I met up with Ollie Jay at Spittal beach for some fun in the messy wind blown surf. The sets came rolling in handsomely.

The rising tide brought us run after exhilarating run in the golden autumn sunshine. Eventually, the strong southerly wind sapped our strength and it was time for tea!.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wild Northumberland

A couple of weeks ago Kirstine and I headed off to the Northumberland coast for a few days break. The weather was varied which meant there was scope for a little bit of everything. One of the highlights was a walk right round the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. It has such a varied coast with sand dunes, small cliffs and boulder strewn beaches. The photograph above is of the northeast point called Emmanuel Head.  

 On one of the more blustery days I went hunting for some surf. In most places it was just too big and intimidating so I headed for the shelter of  St Mary's Haven near Low Newton. The surfing was good fun in the new P&H Delphin even though conditions in the haven were a little tame.

When it rained, we headed north of the border to Eyemouth in Scotland (but only just!) We had a classic haggis and chips lunch before heading for the Eyemouth Maritime Centre which has a fantastic display of old smugglers boats and relics.

 This time of year there is plenty of bird life in and around the estuarine mud flats around Holy Island. The next time I will be back to these shores will be to attend the 5th Storm Gathering meet. Which will be hosted by Active 4 Seasons on the weekend of 30th-31st of October.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Snowdonia Mountains and Coast

The mild temperatures and the promise of clearing skies inspired a trip to the hills of Snowdonia. My brother, Chris and I chose to explore the remote valley of Cwm Egiau, which lies east of the Carneddau. As soon as we left the road head the mist came down restricting the visibility to less than 30 metres at times.

There are few paths to follow in this wild valley so our combined navigation skills were put thoroughly to the test.

The summit of Foel Grach was the first peak that we had aimed for. When we arrived we were greeted with an energy sapping wintry gale and penetrating drizzle. We sheltered in the refuge where we were joined by another sodden soul. Following a brief exchange of navigation tactics, Chris and I decided to beat a hasty retreat down into the valley, back the way we had come from.

Once safely down out of the wind, the weather began to rapidly improve. Just our luck! We walked the last couple of miles to the car in warm sunshine.

So as not to feel short changed from our early retreat from the hills, we headed off to Anglesey for some coastal views. Llandwyn Island is beautiful on any day but so much the better when bathed in golden autumn sunshine.