Sunday, 31 August 2008

A Rock called Horse and an Alien Sculpture....31/08/08

With this being the last day of my week down West I decided to take advantage of the very low spring tide and seek out the infamous Horse Rock.

Horse Rock is a cathedral sized spire of granite rising from a depth of 66 metres to the surface in less than half a mile and as a result, with the powerful tide streams in Ramsey Sound it creates a dangerous piece of water full of large waves and whirlpools.
It is situated in the middle of Ramsey Sound in a line between the white farmhouse on Ramsey Island and the Lifeboat Station at St Justinian.

The rock's location, bang in the middle of a seemingly unobstructed stretch of water has caused many a ship to come to grief. One of those was the British Steam Paddle Tug the Guiding Star, which in 1885, whilst towing another vessel, hit the rock and became badly holed.

Releasing the other ship, the Guiding Star sped as fast as she could to Whitesands Bay where she ran aground at the southern end. The crew were able to get ashore, but the ship became covered with sea water and was abandoned as a wreck. A part of her superstructure is still visible at low water.

A group of Fulmars near the Bitches

After leaving I paddle across to the Bitches which now looks very menacing. With it being low tide it is now almost a continuous line of jagged rocks half way across the Sound. It is amazing to see them close up and to see where yesterday I was paddling over most of these rocks submerged by white bubbling water.

I decided to paddle on through one of the narrow channels between the rocks and carry on down to Ynys Cantwr at the southern end of Ramsey. Today the weird shaped outline of rocks in the vegetation is clearer than normal.

It is hard to believe, but this sculpture is not man made and it is even rumoured that aliens and UFO's are to blame! I won't say what the shape reminds me of as my wife thinks I am crazy, I will let you make your own decisions!

Using the north flowing counter eddy to aid my progress, I then paddle back up to the Bitches which looks even more menacing silhouetted with St David's Head in the background.

On reaching the Bitches I encounter a small problem, the tide flowing against me through the rocks. After a brief struggle I get through and again, use another north flowing eddy near the island to take me up to the north end, with then a ferry glide across the southerly flowing ebb tide to St John's Point.

Only a short paddle but a good way to end another great week's paddling down West Wales, hopefully it won't be too long before I return.

1 comment:

stoney (Martyn) said...

Hi Richard,
Ive got far too close to the Horse rock swirl pot on a number of occasions, never seen it exposed though! Great pics as usual, what type of camera do you use?