Penrhyn Mawr & The Stacks

Arguably the best section of Anglesey's coastline and certainly most well known by reputation if nothing else; a trip around The Stacks packs a great deal into a relatively short distance - our return trip from Porth Dafarch took 7 hours. I suspect the distance paddled equalled rather more than the 20km covered on the map...
...Penrhyn Mawr our first stop - Tim putting the Tiny Taran through its paces... Brian looks for the next ride. We had arrived in the middle hours of the north-west going stream and despite the small tide, the northerly breeze was sufficient to create some entertaining conditions. In fact I prefer the race here on a relatively small tide - certainly it seems much more 'user-friendly' than at Sps when the eddies become a mass of boils and small whirlpools. We had hoped for a touch more wind on this day but enjoyed a couple of hours on the race nonetheless before continuing into Abraham's Bosom.
From here, there is some fantastic rock hopping - Chris and Helen amongst the rock gardens en route to South Stack...
...and Tim who proves the Tiny Taran is as manoeuvrable is it is fast.
A superb arch - the channel blocked unfortunately just before South Stack where we passed the narrow cleft, timing our run through the 3m wide passage with some care as the waves rolling in closed the gap completely.
Beyond, we headed out into the race off western end of the stack - typically conditions are best here on the south going stream but today, the northerly breeze pushing against the last of the flood was creating some chunky waves...
...though they proved more confused and less easy to surf than those at Penrhyn Mawr.
Tiring at last we pushed on to the caves that lie beneath Dream of White Horses...
...into which Brian made a dramatic entrance, keeping a wary eye on the rocks out of sight left.
Exiting via the same channel...
...and after a few more entertaining gaps we arrived at Parliament House Cave on the west side of North Stack. Here, for the first time, I found the narrow cleft that runs right through the cliffs to the north side of the stack and we stopped for the second time that day, chatting with two paddlers on their second day of a circumnavigation of Anglesey.
They left beneath a strong sun and I envied their trip, or rather that feeling of being on a longer journey - there is a curious satisfaction that accompanies any circumnavigation which draws us all I suspect.
At length we headed out once more, returning with the ebb, passing beneath South Stack lighthouse on calmer seas...
...before returning to Porth Dafarch, the idyllic late afternoon sun catching the low cliffs, drawing the folded strata into stark relief. A gentle end to a wonderful day's kayaking.


Frank said…

Great site! I'm trying to find an email address to contact you on to ask if you would please consider adding a link to my website. I'd really appreciate if you could email me back.

Thanks and have a great day!
fantastic pics!
One suspects you're not using a crappy compact.... ?
Will Herman said…
Hi Mike - yep - gave up on compacts despite the obvious advantages in some situations. Biggest problem with SLRs is the gradual salt accumulation and then condensation...worth it though depending on your priorities.

Hi Frank - thanks for your comment - perhaps you could provide a link to your site so I can see what I am linking to?