Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Stage 4 - Barmouth to Aberystwyth

Anticipation is everything, especially when you're expecting to get a 15mph southerly wind to the face. Add in the knee-knocking prospect of the open water passage being an hour more than the tide window, today's solo launch was tense to say the least...

The plan for the day was getting to Tywyn to meet Oak, fill up with pasty, have a leg stretch and move on to Borth. Borth never happened. With the headwind, we were forced into the cover of Tonfanau headland before getting to Tywyn, making about 3 knots headway - less than half our average of the previous day!

Post-Barmouth selfie

Then, after passing the unpredictable chop of the fast-flowing Dovey estuary and losing a GoPro in the process (sorry Ed!), a glorious sight... Aberystwyth, we thought. Then we got closer and Aber's seafront edifices seemed to have shrunk. Salty-eye can do strange things to a man's vision!

Having passed Borth(ystwyth), we headed for the Aber actual. But by this time the tide had turned and it felt like we were going backwards. But then, an even better sight, the amusement arcade on the pier. They have the best 2p slot machines in the west there.

By this stage though, 7km from Aberystwyth, having battled through 10km of the flood tide against us, fatigue was really setting in and it was do or die...possibly, literally.
As we edged closer we could again see Oak's van on the shore. We've never been so pleased to see that man or his van or the Belle Vue Royal Hotel.

Tomorrow a potential force four looms so we're in for an early start to meet Andy Campbell, a local kayaker met through Sea Kayaking Cymru, and half a dozen members of Aber Kayakers at Llanystryd, en route to New Quay.

Dear Derek Brockway, please send good news...
Stay tuned!

Ben and Tom

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