A paddle up the Cymyran Straits

It was rather damp and drizzly this morning, and the forecast was for quite strong wind, but we’d planned a paddle so John and Dan discussed various options. They finally decided on a trip up the Cymyran Straits which, from John’s calculations, meant we’d be out of the wind and should be helped by the tide. This didn’t quite work out to be the case but we had a good day, although the paddling was a bit tough at times.

After lunch, we drove to Four Mile Bridge, parked at the roadside, and got our kayaks and kit ready. Dan and John carried my kayak and Jackie’s down through the slippery mud and helped us onto the water. Then they went to the opposite side of the road to launch their kayaks so they could come through the shute of water under the road bridge. When they joined us, we set off up the estuary, between the salt marshes.

The wind seemed to be behind us, which John hadn’t expected, and the tide was with us so we progressed quite quickly, watching the birds on the marshes and listening to the jets flying overhead from RAF Valley. There was also a hovercraft buzzing around on the water and sandbanks. At one point, where the river was particularly wide and shallow, we all got stuck on a sandbank and had to get out and drag the boats to deeper water, which was fun!

We finally reached Silver Bay at the end of the estuary and could see the white caps of waves crashing in the distance. Jackie and I stayed in the sheltered bay, while John and Dan went out for a bit more excitement, surfing in the waves. When they’d had enough, after a quick loo stop behind the rocks on the beach, we set of back up the estuary.

It was much more difficult to paddle than on the way out. John was confused because, from his calculations, the tide should have turned and be helping us. However, it still seemed to be flowing out into the bay and was now against us. The wind was in our faces at times too as we followed the meandering river back towards Four Mile Bridge.


In places the river was even more shallow than it had been on the way out and we got stuck on sandbanks a few times. Sometimes, we could dislodge our kayaks and take another route but, at other times, we had to get out. At one point, Dan towed Jackie and their boats to deeper water! Some passing walkers helped too, and their dog hitched a ride, but I missed that.

I was getting pretty tired, especially where the water was shallow and I couldn’t use efficient paddling strokes. Thankfully, the river got deeper again, and it wasn’t too long until John spotted the road bridge across the salt marsh. In spite of the damp weather and the tide, overall, it was an enjoyable trip and we were all glad we’d made the effort to get out on the water. The choice of trip worked well, being very suitable for me to get used to paddling again and practise my strokes, and for Jackie, who’s a beginner.

By the time we’d showered and sorted out the kit, the sun was shining, so we sat outside for drinks and nibbles. Then, when the sun dropped, we had dinner in Bertie BoxLife, which worked very well. The new van is definitely feeling like home from home now.


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