Monday, 5 May 2008

Ramsey Island 05/05/08

Better conditions today although there was a sea mist threatening to come in so I decided to paddle across to Ramsey Island and take it from there.

On reaching the northern end of the island there was nowhere near as much swell as yesterday and the tide was still ebbing which I could use to my advantage to take me down the western side.

Looking towards Trwyn Drain-du

On rounding Trwyn Drain-du I left the mist behind and paddled across the largest bay on the western side, Aber Mawr, which is usually inhabited by a large number of seals and their pups during the pupping season. I didn't stop here today as I wanted to push on before the tide changed.

After leaving the relative shelter of Aber Mawr I come across the most exposed section of the island, which is southwest facing and gets the full force of the prevailing southwesterly winds and weather.

The cliffs along this part of the island are some of the highest sea cliffs in Wales and are the nesting grounds of Razorbills, Guillemots and Kittiwakes. The birds are constantly flying back and forth from their nests out to sea and already the cliffs are slowly changing colour around their nest sites. It amazes me how they manage to nest on such sheer cliffs especially in high winds.

Padddling further southward I reach the storm beach of Porth Lleuog which is a very steep pebbled beach, also used by seals and their pups. This stretch of coastline is riddled with numerous caves which I didn't explore today as there was still a slight swell.

On rounding Trwynmynachdy conditions were massively calmer than yesterday and my escape route was much less accessible due to the state of the tide. The picture below shows what I paddled over yesterday to get back into the Sound on my aborted trip.

I now pass Cathedral Cave but didn't enter it as there were many birds nesting above it and didn't want to get too close, I will have a chance to explore more at a later date (hopefully!).

Next is the only part of the trip where I have some adverse tide conditions, this being the 'Devil's Hole', the gap between Ynys Cantwr and Ynys Bery. There were no standing waves today, just tidal flow, and with a sharp sprint I was through into Ramsey Sound.

By now the tide had started to flood so it was in my favour as I paddled northwards back up through the sound towards the Bitches where the sea mist started to reappear.

Now at a leisurely pace I made my way to St John's point where I stopped and looked back at Ramsey which was already half enveloped in mist. It was a good feeling to have finally made it around Ramsey Island as normally by this time of year I have done this trip a couple of times already.

No comments: