Thursday, 3 March 2011

Sea kayaking around Wales 2011 - Dee Estuary paddle

We have a super high pressure here at the moment, so decided on a drive to the Dee Estuary and check out the channel markers and what sort of progress would I make against the ebb. I got on at the Point of Air which is a Special Site of Scientific Intrest (SSSI) and the c-tug kayak trolly came into its own and moved through the sand/mud reasonable well. The tide was beginning its 3rd hour of the ebb, which interesting flows for 7 hours!

I followed the green buoys to begin with as there seemed less flow, passing NE Mostyn, spotting Salisbury middle (a red buoy in the flow and channel known as Wild Road) and then on to Mostyn Bouy, a further 2k. This is were Ray Goodwin had warned me to take the left hand folk, into the main channel, rather than the right which at lower water ends at the Port of Mostyn and a carry across the sand : (

It was a bright sunny day so seeing the main channel buoys was difficult as they blended into the back grounds. One advantage of moving up the channel as low water progressed was that I got less flow, as eddies formed as each sand bank appeared. I just needed to keep moving!

I soon spotted West Bar a red buoy, seen below and then made my way up to buoy 2 (which had a 1a on it?) and then on to number 3. I now felt that the pieces of the puzzle were clearer, and the 2.5 hours to have covered the 10k, into the ebb took just over an hour to return to my start.

Two points which may be of intreats. My Imray chart of North Wales, went only so far into the Dee Estuary and then stated channel is likely to change. With a brief Google search I came across super work by John Hughes and an excellent sketch chart of the estuary.

My c-tug trolly (which we have two off) had two punctures, 1 in each. So with swopping wheels I had a working trolly. What really impressed me was that the New Zealand company that makes them, say if you get a puncture they will send you a new wheel, providing you pay the postage. Within 24 hours the uk importer had contacted me and was offering a new wheel called a sandhoper , which is plastic and cant be punctured ... happy days : )

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