Friday, 11 July 2008

Ramsey Island - The Long Route 11/07/2008

Arrived at Pencarnan late afternoon for, hopefully, 9 or 10 days of some good sea kayaking. I was surprised as there was very little wind, the journey down had been quite blowy.

I unpacked quickly and left Porthsele at about 6.30pm and headed out towards St David’s Head.
Paddling past the head on a course for North Bishop I would let the South flowing ebb tide take me down towards Ramsey Island.

Within a couple of hundred yards, I caught my first glimpse of many Manx Shearwaters returning to Skomer, gliding over the swell.

Even though it was a neap tide the flow was taking me at quite a speed and I soon passed Carreg Trai, all the time in the presence of ever increasing numbers of Manx Shearwater, Gannets and the occasional Puffin. Unfortunately there was quite a swell out there making picture taking not too easy. See my effort of North Bishop.

Missed it this time

There it is!

With the tide aiding my progress I quickly passed Carreg Rhoson and decided to make my way back across to Ramsey Island.

Carreg Rhoson

As I approached the rocks of Llech Uchaf and Llech Isaf I encountered a large area of overfalls or standing waves which was a shame as the air was now a mass of Manx Shearwaters gracefully gliding over the waves, picture taking was a bit too precarious.

No Shearwaters, just Gannets

Nearing Ramsey the bird traffic subsided with just Guillemots and Razorbills. There was a bit of adverse tide flow through the ‘Devil’s Hole’ between Ynys Cantwr and Ynys Bery at the South end of Ramsey, but I could surf the swell through the gap into the unusually glassy waters of Ramsey Sound. It was then a leisurely paddle up to the Bitches with the last of the south flowing ebb tide aiding me.

Looking North from the bottom of the Sound

St David's Head from the Bitches

Last of the wave on the ebb tide at the Bitches

Calm waters through the Sound

The sun was starting to set but unfortunately as I got to Trwyn Ogof Hen it disappeared behind a bank of cloud so no pictures of that either.

When I got to St John’s point I finally got to try my storm cag as the heavens opened. It was excellent as it can be put on straight over my buoyancy aid.

This heavy shower did not put a dampener on a pleasant paddle of just over 3 hours covering a distance of nearly 10 nautical miles, lets hope the rest of the week is as good.

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