22 hardy paddlers braved the weather (although at one point down by the Swellies, the sun came out and you'd have thought it was July!)
The wind was blowing quite strongly from the South West and because I'd been rushing to get out of the shop to the meeting point, I'd grabbed the boat that was closest to hand rather than one of my usual "go to boats". The boat was the Overline Aretusa, it was a three piece model without a skeg, which on the basis of my recent inactivity (too much time spent in the shop and developing the website has led to no time on the water for just over 2 months) combined with a slightly increased girth over that period of inactivity and a week of stuffing my face over Christmas meant that I wasn't feeling as comfortable as usual in the boat. I then made things more difficult for myself by donning a chicken suit over all my paddling kit.
(Thanks to Dave Jones for the Picture)When I managed to get the boat running in a straight line, it was really nice to paddle, but my ability was a little limited and without the skeg, I have to admit that for the first 45 minutes or so I was struggling with it, but as I grew accustomed to it's handling (and listened to a couple of top-tips from the "Event Organiser"), it became easier to paddle.
We stopped for a mass raft-up and the "Event Organiser" passed around a big bag of sweeties, which were well received.
Menai Challenge course, while others decided to play on the Swellies.
Eventually, we passed under Menai Bridge and paddled on to Gallows Point.
Some had to leave straight away to be with family and friends to see in the New Year, others retired to the pub where some "fishermans tales" were exchanged about the years paddling exploits and the world was put to rights.
I'd like to thank everyone that came for their company and a pleasant paddle and thank the "Event Organiser" for taking the time to make it happen. Roll on the second "Penguin Paddle", after all there's a full years paddling between now and then to make the most of!
Happy New Year!