Cold Knap To Aberthaw & Back 16/10/11

Taran picked me up from the house due to my van being off the road - 'thanks Taran'. Originally the plan was to go from Cold Knap to Ogmore on an assisting tide with Stuart too. Unfortunately Stuart couldn't make it and my Dad was away so with car portage an issue we decided to paddle to Llantwit and back!

We launched at the Watchtower Bay and made our way around Cold Knap point and headed for Aberthaw

As soon as we left cover of the bay we hit a strong headwind and with the tide going in the opposite direction this made for some rough water and some quite big swells. With Taran just coming back from his 4 star in Cornwall having coped with 5 foot swells and big surf this was a walk in the park for him! For me it was a bit scary and hard going.

Taran going wide looking for some bigger surf!!

It got a bit rough as we passed through Rhoose Point. I was holding the paddle pretty tight and I was very tense. I was aslo getting a bit tired (too much lazy time and way too much food on honeymoon)
In the distance was the cooling tower for Aberthaw Power Station and Taran commented that is should get 'interesting' around there!! I have been out with him a few times and when he says 'interesting' I get scared!

Image courtesy of Taran. You can just see me in the top right quarter.
Image courtesy of Taran

After an hour and a half of relentless padling I was honest with Taran and said that I dont think I can go on to Llantwit and get back to the Knap against the flow. I was feeling pretty tired and was quite suprised myself but sometimes you just feel like that! Taran said 'No problem' and we landed a mile or so past the Power station for a chocolate bar and a rest.

Me posing

After 20 minutes we got back on the water and made our way back to the Knap against the tide. Taran said that if we stay close to the shore we should avoid the main current.
As soon as I started paddling my arms felt really strained and I was struggling. I knew I had a good couple of hours paddling to go so just had to get on with it but I was probably whinging to Taran!

Taran with Aberthaw Power Station in the backround.
Aberthaw Power Station refers to a series of two coal-fired power stations situated on the coast of South Wales, near Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan. It is actually located on the waterfront of the nearby villages of Gileston and West Aberthaw on Limpert Bay. The current power station on the site, Aberthaw B Power Station, co-fires biomass and as of 2008, its generating capacity of 1560 megawatts (MW). The station is also the location for a trial Carbon Capture system. At 1MW in consumption the trial is to determine whether the technology can be scaled up from lab conditions.

There must have been good fishing today as there were a few fishing boats out. Staying close to the shore to avoid the current proved difficult at times as there were dozens of fisherman all the way along the coast.

I was seriously flagging approaching the Knap, so much so that I had to land at the pebbles as I could not make it around the point back into Watchtower Bay. I have never felt that exhausted on a paddle and dont really know why, think it was a combination of wind, tide and probably technique!
Thanks to Taran for making me experience some rougher sea. And sorry to make you walk back to the van. Hope I didnt hold you up to much. I really enjoyed the trip.