Friday, 31 October 2008

A Lifeboat, Seals, Wind and Waves 31/10/2008

First a big thank you must go to Sian and Alan from Pencarnan for the fireworks and the great hospitality last night, a great time was had by all!

With the shipping forecast being NE 5-7 decreasing 4 or 5 later we decided to take a short trip to St Justinian, home of the St David's Lifeboat. The boathouse was open so it gave us a chance to have a good look at the Tyne Class lifeboat Garside.

It was also a good vantage point to see the seal pup which is now looking a lot healthier and having a snooze in the sunshine whilst it's mother was being hassled by an amorous bull trying to have his evil way.

With the surf a lot bigger than yesterday and the wind showing no sign of easing it was 15 minutes of hard paddling and one unplanned roll before I managed to get out through the pounding surf!

Once out past the break line I decided to paddle into the wind towards Whitesands and St David's Head, hopefully into more sheltered waters.

On reaching Whitesands, which is less than a mile from Porthsele, I couldn't believe the difference in the sea conditions. Whitesands is one of the best surfing beaches in Wales but today it was flat calm, very different from Porthsele.

Paddling out along St David's Head the sea got even flatter and the sun even felt warm now I was sheltered from the NE wind. It was amazing to see the difference in the sea when looking out towards Ramsey Island and South Bishop Lighthouse where there were very large standing waves out in the main tidal stream caused by the wind against the ever increasing flood tide.

It was then a very easy quick paddle back to Porthsele where the only problem was getting through the surf as well as trying to avoid the numerous rocks either side of the narrow channel of sand to get back to the beach.
Yet again another short paddle of only 3.5 nautical miles (nearly 4 miles or approximately 6.5km) but at least I managed to cover a little distance (and practice my rolls) in hugely varying sea conditions.

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