Adventures in North Wales
Surf Skiing in Conwy
I arranged to meet some fellow surf-skiers in Conwy on Saturday. I thought I could make a weekend of it. Surf Ski somewhere a little different for a change, do some mountain biking and then sleepover in the camper and continue my Coast Path run project on the Sunday. The Facebook post from Martin had said:
Myself and Rik are out for a play on the Conwy estuary on Saturday at 10am, perfect opportunity to surf some boat wakes, any takers?
I couldn’t resist it so decided to tag along, making sure first that they wouldn’t mind a relative beginner in their midst. They were very welcoming so I drove up on Saturday morning with my mountain bike on the back of the camper and my surf ski on the roof.
I soon met up with everyone on the beach and we headed off into the calm waters of the Conwy estuary. I warned them that I might end up practising my remounts rather than actually paddling. Everyone was very encouraging though as we headed off.
The idea was to catch the wake of boats leaving the marina and see how long you could surf it for.
Before long everyone else was off surfing the wake of a boat and following it for miles out into the bay. I missed the wake so paddled around on my own for a while then headed off into the bay a little myself. Here I met Helen coming back in from an exciting ride behind a boat. I paddled back upstream with her chatting about surf skiing, and Sport and Exercise Science. She is a lab technician the same as me in a University Sport & Exercise Science Department as well. At least chatting got me feeling a little more relaxed and even capable of looking around whilst paddling – something I failed to do in the Mawddach Marathon last weekend.
Eventually we met up with the others, Martin, Rik, Clark and Kevin and tried again to catch some wakes. Eventually I worked out what I was doing wrong. I was trying to catch the bow wave and ride that whereas they were catching the waves at the stern of the boats. The bow waves were short lived and tended to push me away from the boats, the stern waves however were better and kept you on track right behind the boat that created it.
I managed to catch one in the end and had a nice little ride. My steering control isn’t the best though so I dropped off the wake after a while and headed back to the beach with the others. We chatted for a while and everyone had a certain amount of camper van and roof rack envy. The others then headed off and I chilled in the sunshine. I was approached by a harbour authority guy though who told me that one of the pleasure cruisers had complained about the surf-skiers following his boat. The Harbour Authority Officer was nice enough about it. He even said that he didn’t see a problem with it and didn’t know why they were complaining as we weren’t doing any harm and it was all perfectly safe. He said he had to tell us though seeing as there had been a complaint.
I packed up and headed off to Llanwrst to ride some mountain bike trails.
MTB on the Marin Trail
I hadn’t ridden around the Marin Trail for years. I did think about it whilst camping and kayaking at Llyn Geirionydd a few weeks ago but didn’t quite get around to it. Today I was going to do the full, longer trail though. The glorious sunshine on the coast had turned to drizzle as I drove inland and misty clouds hung over the hills.
I set off on what turned out to be a nice ride around the Marin Trail. I saw a few other people out riding too as I overtook them but there weren’t many about. There were a few groups of walkers here and there as well. I’ve ridden the Marin Trail a few times in the past but couldn’t seem to remember any of the trail sections. Nothing seemed familiar and there were definitely some new sections too. I’ll have to look it up but I think the route has changed significantly. I took it easy not knowing what to expect around each corner or blind summit. The lakes up in the hills are gorgeous so I stopped to take a few photos but generally just kept up a nice steady pace around the trail.
I got into the flow of things towards the end with some nice little jumps here and there but mostly it was a conservative ride in the hills.
I must have been going OK though as I seem to have gained lots of trophies and PR’s on Strava during the ride.
Back at the camper I cleaned off the mud, washed with wet wipes and got changed before heading off in search of a place to stay for the night. This didn’t quite go to plan but in the end I parked up near to Brickfields Nature Reserve in Rhyl ready to run the Coast Path in the morning.