A windy paddle from La Pulente

I have lost count of the number of times I have driven past La Pulente in a howling gale and when the tide has been at the right height thought about paddling amongst the reefs. Experiencing strong winds but without the rough water. The outer reefs take out the largest swells and with a limited fetch inside the reef there is very little possibility of waves of any size developing.
This morning with low tide at 11.22 we launched at 10.00 and throughout our time on the water the wind didn’t drop below 30 knots with frequent gusts up to 46 knots.  So without doubt  it was a steady force 7 from the northwest.
It was perfectly safe as the worst that could happen is that we would get blown onto the beach, in fact for significant amounts of time the depth of the water was such, that we weren’t out of our depth.

An ideal venue for practicing skills in high winds.

John and Jim launching.  Although it doesn’t really look it but the wind was howling across the rocks forcing us onto the other side of the narrow inlet.
 Progress was made by paddling from one small reef to the next, gaining some shelter and then planning the next few hundred metres.  John was really enjoying himself.
 Turning underneath La Rocco Tower.  It was a matter a paddling into the channel and then turning right into a large gully.  It looked far worse than it actually was.  We did it a couple of times.
 Matt and John making the turn on the first circuit of the reef.
 Matt running down the gully.  With the wind behind us we were traveling at nearly 4 knots without using our paddles.
 Heading out to sea.  We headed out a few hundred metres and then surfed back in.  It was a really quick ride back.
Ruth just enjoying the pleasure of being out on the water
After about 90 minutes of playing around in the wind we headed south, Corbiere Lighthouse is visible above the reef
Back on dry land, time to warm up and have a pint at the La Pulente.