Sunday, 15 June 2008

Tusker Rock 15/06/2008

I left a deserted Dunraven Bay early on another perfect Sunday morning. Using the last of the ebb tide I paddled past Ogmore and the vast caravan site of Trecco Bay, and onto Porthcawl Point.

On the breakwater at Porthcawl Point there is a lighthouse which was built in 1860 and also the boathouse of the Porthcawl Lifeboat.

The flood tide was just starting to flow as I paddled out towards the west cardinal Fairy Buoy which marks the nearby Fairy Rock. Judging by the state of the buoy it has taken a bit of a hammering and could do with a bit of TLC.

The Fairy Buoy looking a bit battered!

With the ever increasing flood tide I made rapid progress to the Tusker Buoy which is south west from Tusker Rock.

From Tusker Buoy I was now able to surf towards Tusker Rock which is a large rock that only becomes visible about two hours before and after low water. It gets it's name from Tuska the Viking, whose fellow Vikings semi-colonised the Vale of Glamorgan.

Waves breaking on the shallow water around Tusker Rock

As you can imagine, Tusker Rock is a major hazard to shipping and numerous vessels have run aground here. There is much visible evidence still remaining around the rock.

When I first looked into the history of the wreck on Tusker I came across conflicting reports as to what shipwreck it was. Many reports say it was the SS Samtampa but after much research and help from Eurion, my mate Dave "the lone gunman" and the Receiver of Wrecks, the truth was unearthed.

It seems as though it is most probably the wreck of the sand dredger Steepholm which was built in Bristol in 1950 and owned by the Holm's Sand and Gravel Company. It was wrecked on the 03/10/1968 with the crew of 7 being rescued by the Mumbles Lifeboat for which the Coxswain, Lionel Derek Scott was awarded a Bronze medal plus an additional monetary award for himself and the crew.

It was now a nice leisurely paddle back to the mainland and onto Dunraven Bay where, for a change, on landing the wind began to rise!

Cliffs approaching Dunraven Bay

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