As gales battered the west coast of Scotland, ferries were cancelled and forecasts looked increasingly poor, plans to cross to Ailsa Craig were becoming less realistic by the day...
For once, the winds predicted around Anglesey were lighter than most areas and plan B was made accordingly; an out and back overnight trip from Moelfre, heading north and east to Bull Bay and on to camp opposite Middle Mouse.
Arriving at Moelfre, I had a sneaking suspicion the met office had mislead us. F7 SE's seemed acceptable to my companions however, so we loaded the boats and launched.
Pushed rapidly around the first headland with a low brace barely interupted for the odd correctional stroke, the low cliffs provided a modicum of shelter until the gusts simply became too severe. Survival paddling was not on the agenda and a shelter was erected just as the heavens opened.
Bright blue skies saw us heading north again, beneath pines and gorse, before rounding Lynas point. Here the wind picked up again and having passed through some rougher water it was time to put the head down and cross the wide expanse of Bull Bay.
From there, familiar cliffs and caves maintained interest to Hells Mouth and after negotiating the race off the last headland for the day, surfing between a large boulder and the cliffs, a long carry from the lowest extremity of a spring tide eventually saw us set camp.
Waking to a still morning, a quick crossing to and around Middle Mouse put us out in the flow where the last hours of the flood caried us back towards Bull Bay. A solitary porpoise delayed proceedings and caused one unhappy paddler to delete 'all frames' whilst trying to clear a less successful attempt to video our playful companion.
From now on it was against the flow, a long paddle seeking out eddies and surfing up the races forming off succcesive points.