Playing at the Weekend

I was all geared up for my first proper down-winder on the surf ski this weekend. The forecast was looking good. There was supposed to be quite a bit of wind. It was supposed to be southerly and there should be some swell with it as well. OK, rain was forecast too, but if the conditions were fairly big and burly I was likely to get wet anyway. A down-winder from Borth to Ynyslas was on the cards

Calm before the Storm

There looked to be a calm before the storm on Saturday morning so I headed off into the hills on my CX bike. There was a bit of a breeze and it wasn’t quite as warm as it had been. Arm warmers were called for but otherwise it was still shorts and T-shirt weather. My legs were a bit tired though so it was a fairly easy 2½ hour pootle through the hills. The recent rain did at least mean they were green again.

CX in the Hills

CX in the Hills

There isn’t much water in Nant y Moch Reservoir though. It is pretty much empty.



I was back at home in time for elevenses just before the rain start and then spent the rest of the day walking back and forth to the beach to check on the conditions.

I did clean out the gutters on the lean-to as well and made a nice chicken madras curry too.


By 4:30pm it was time to go. There was some wind, but rather than blowing from the SSW it was from the SSE and therefore a little offshore. This meant that there was very little in the way of waves or runners so it was looking like quite a flat ride. Morgan was working at 5pm though so we drive into Borth to drop him off, and for me to start my down-winder. As I was expecting it to be a little lively I had only planned to play it safe with a paddle from Borth to Ynyslas. Mind you, had it been really good I may have done it twice.

As it turned out the conditions were fairly flat so it wasn’t that exciting. I did have the wind behind me, but it wasn’t that strong and the sea was fairly flat. So much for the exciting full-on down-winder I’d been hoping for. There was a little more movement on the sea at Ynyslas so I played around there for a while before heading home.

I’d already cooked up a nice dinner, so the curry along with vegetable pakora went down a treat. It was just a case of frying the pakoras and heating up the curry before dinner was ready. All washed down with loads of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Run in the Hills

Sunday saw me out for a run in the hills. My achilles feels better. The verruca on my foot seems to have stopped hurting, even though it is still there. Today’s injury was a niggle in my right knee that has been developing over the past few days. I thought I’d give it a go though and try to run for a little longer. Recently I don’t think I’ve run for more than 20 minutes, and that has only been in races.

It was a drizzly, misty… I guess that’s mizzly, start to the day so I wore a jacket for the first time in ages. I started in Tre Ddol and ran along the Coast Path towards Artists Valley and then back across the top. It wasn’t far (10km) but it was on fairly tough terrain and I was slow so it took just over an hour. Not fast, not impressive but at least it was a longer run at last. My knee was a little sore, but not too bad.

Paddling around the Estuary

Back at home it was time to jump into my surf ski again for a paddle around the estuary. The plan was to paddle from our house, into Aberdovey and then go with the tide to Glandyfi. Stop there briefly and then paddle back with the out-going tide to Aberdyfi and home. The launch was a little more full-on than I was expecting. The big tide was right up onto the pebbles and there was quite a swell dumping onto them. I had to time my entry well, standing in the shallows on the pebbles with 6.2m of fibreglass boat in my arms as waves broke over my head. In a lull in the waves I ran out to chest deep water so that the back of the ski was just into the water, jumped on and powered my way out through the shore-break.

Once out beyond the waves it was easy going. There was no wind and the tide was with me as I made my way up to the estuary. I wasn’t looking forward to landing onto the pebbles with such a shore-break though so already had plans to finish in the shelter of the estuary instead. There were a few nice swells to play on over the bar into the mouth of the estuary and then it was speedy progress with the tide as I headed inland. Past Aberdovey, past Picnic Island, past the beach at Pantperthog and onwards towards Glandyfi. The high Spring Tide meant that the channel was still wide here as the waters had spilled out onto the surrounding marsh-lands. I stopped for a short while at Glandyfi for a flapjack and a drink and then it was back into my boat for the journey home.



The tide hadn’t quite turned yet so I didn’t have much help from that, but it didn’t seem to be hindering me now either. The wind however was picking up and as I headed back out of the river into the estuary I had a strong headwind to contend with. The chop was picking up too making it tough going at times. I was secretly glad that I’d now planned to stop on the sands of the estuary rather than paddle out and around to the seafront. The shore-break on the pebbles was the reason for this, but by the time I got to Ynyslas I was quite tired anyway so was glad to be finishing there. Anna popped down in the van to collect me and then it was back home for bacon and egg baps for brunch.

That wasn’t quite all for the day though as I did a relatively easy ‘hill reps’ workout  on the turbo trainer in the afternoon before having home-made moussaka for dinner along with several puddings. One of which was a chocolate courgette cake so as to use up some of the home grown courgettes we have.

Monday Morning

It’s 9am on Monday morning as I write this and as usual I have extended the weekend a little. First thing was a swim in the sea. Just a short 2km before breakfast. with breakfast done it was time to head back over for a surf ski. This time in some nice little waves. Waves at last, we haven’t really seen that fort ages as it’s been hot, sunny, calm and flat for the entire summer it seems.

Time for work now, some video editing and some proof-reading. Then I’ll cook up another curry, bake a Lemon, Pistachio and Courgette cake and then another bike ride. I need to wash my CX bike and polish my surf ski too. So much to do. If only we had more time.


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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.