Sunday, 24 August 2008

Ramsey Island - The Rough with the Smooth 24/08/2008

Today was a better day, it was still very windy but at least the sun was out. Leaving the shelter of Porthsele straight away it was a hard slog into the strong southerly wind. I was passed by Tim of Venture Jet on his way over to Ramsey, a quick wave and before I knew it he was gone, I suppose there is something to be said for motor power, especially on a day like today!

Hugging the cliff to try and get some shelter from the wind and to stay out of the North flowing flood tide. I stopped at St Justinian to quickly take a photo of a Black Backed Gull sunbathing on one of the Voyages of Discovery RIBs.

It is then onto Pen Dal-adeyrn, the southernmost point of Ramsey Sound and then the hard paddle across the main tide flow and hopefully across to Ramsey without being dragged down past the Bitches. Today it is quite rough with fair sized standing waves which gave me a good soaking and cools me down nicely after the hard paddle through the Sound against wind and tide.

At first I am taken quickly down towards the Bitches but keeping the paddle speed constant I soon break out of the tide stream and into the sheltered smooth water on the eastern side of Ramsey.
It is now an easy paddle down to the southern end of the island and to the Devil's Hole, the gap between Ynys Cantwr and Midland Isle where it is decision time, whether to carry on round Ramsey or turn back, because with today's conditions, once through the Devil's hole there would be no turning back.

I decided to go for it knowing that tide and wind would be with me and I could just take my time and concentrate on staying upright!

Conditions were as expected with a very large swell and quite challenging paddling but good experience and great fun. It was also good to see that all the 'round the island' boats kept an eye on me probably thinking I was bloody crazy! It was a shame I couldn't take more photos but I needed to keep both hands on the paddle. It was not until rounding the northern tip of the island that I could finally relax a little and have a well deserved rest and drink.

It was amazing to see how calm Ramsey Sound was on the crossing back to St John's Point, I suppose the island was sheltering the Sound from the wind and large swell.

On reaching St John's Point the rough conditions returned and it was an interesting paddle back to Porthsele.

This was an exhilarating paddle of just over 7.5 nautical miles (approximately 8.75m or 14km) with massively varying sea conditions and times when I was wondering what the hell I was doing out here but I had a great feeling of achievement later.

No comments: