Saturday, 3 May 2008

Exploring Ramsey Sound 03/05/08

I left it late setting out today and as a result the spring flood tide was already flowing quickly through the sound. With there also being quite a strong wind my options were limited. I decided to explore the mainland coastline of Ramsey Sound as I hadn't done this for a while.

The first of the many small coves along this stretch of coastline is Porth Cadnaw pictured below. As you can see this section of the cliff is constantly disappearing into the sea causing the coast path above to be constantly moved further and further inland. This cove is usually home to at least one seal pup per season.

Paddling towards St Justinian I pass a few more little coves and then reach Ynys Dinas which is a small outcrop of rock. I usually have to paddle round this to get into St Justinian but as I was closer into the coastline than normal I noticed a small channel between Ynys Dinas and the mainland which led through into St Justinian bay. This is what I love about sea kayaking, being able to go where other boats are unable to access.

On passing St Justinian, the home of the St David's lifeboat, the next point of interest is Ogof Mary. This is a sea cave with natural springs above that pour down into the cave entrance.

Inside Ogof Mary

Straight after leaving Ogof Mary there is a Natural Arch which can be paddled through just before and after high water.

Paddling through the Arch from Ogof Mary with Ramsey Island in the distance

Looking back towards Ogof Mary

The next stretch of coastline is riddled with numerous caves and even smaller coves than before, the one pictured below is also often used by seals and their pups.

It was at this point that a large Bull Seal decided to accompany me on the next part of my journey, it was almost as though he was keeping an eye on me, making sure I wasn't about to invade his territory. During breeding season it can be quite eerie paddling this section as all you can hear is the spooky wailing of the pups echoing around the caves.

Just before you reach the bay of Carn ar Wig there are the remains of some form of winching gear and what looks like a small man made jetty. Whether this is something to do with the nearby Treginnis Copper mine, I don't know, and have not had much luck in find out any information on this.

Carn ar Wig is usually sheltered from the prevailing Southwesterly winds and again is used by seals to have their pups.

From here it is only a short paddle to Penmaen Melyn where I meet the north flowing flood tide which, by now, was flowing at it's fastest rate. I paddled into it and let the tide take me back down to St John's point and back to Porthsele.

I reached a top speed of 9.5 knots whilst paddling back on the flood tide and travelled 5 nautical miles on this round trip.

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