Family Days Out

As I think I’ve already mentioned, rather than having a proper family holiday this year Anna and I are taking several days here and there off work so that we can have lots of long weekends. Last weekend was just such a weekend and we were heading towards Bristol for a large ‘Cole Family Picnic’.

Friday started with a gorgeous sunrise and I was heading off for a bit of an adventure while Ann and Morgan slept in.



I walked across to the beach with my Stand-Up-Paddleboard and started paddling North towards Aberdovey. The sea was calm, and although 7am in the morning, I could already see someone else out paddleboarding a little further to the south. There was quite a strong Easterly wind funneling down through the Dyfi Valley though and it got quite choppy a little further out. I had to head out there though as there was a constant stream of thousands and thousands of seabirds all heading North. I paddled in amongst them and was surrounded by what seemed like a never-ending supply of seabirds. All were intent on going North. I don’t know where they were going or where they’d come from but they took no notice of me and just kept heading north, sometimes just millimetres above the water whilst others were high in the sky forming a huge column of birds.

I then paddled my way across the mouth of the estuary and along past Aberdovey, under the jetty and then hugged the coastline as I went with the tide up into the estuary as far as Picnic Island. It go quite rough at one point as the tide swirled around a headland and over a rocky outcrop and I managed to fall in. It was actually warmer in the water than out. I then turned back and headed against the current back to Aberdovey and beyond. I was just wasting time now as I was meeting some people from Cerist Tri Club for a swim at 8:30am.

They all arrived on time. I left my board, my paddle and my bag on the beach and we headed off for a swim weaving through the moored boats and headed east with the tide to the same headland that I had fallen off my board on. We then swam back against the tide at first but it turned when we were halfway back so we had it’s helo again for the final few hundred metres.

The others headed home and I jumped on my paddleboard for another trip across the estuary and off along the seafront to Ynyslas.

The early sunrise had now turned to rain, but luckily this soon cleared as my next job (after breakfast) was to move the swarm of bees that I had collected the other day to our out Apiary.

Once this was done, we packed the car and headed off towards Bristol and a visit to my parents. We had to pop into town first but once on the road it was a straight forward journey except for quite a bit of traffic around the M4/M5 junction. We had plenty of time though and weren’t in a hurry and even stopped off for a quick visit to the Great Chestnut of Tortworth. This immense Chestnut tree is thought to have grown from a seed in 800 AD making it over 1200 years old. It grows in a meadow near St. Leonard’s Church and it always amazes me the things that must have gone on and the changes that have taken place around such a tree during its life.


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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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