Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Out with the old! 31/12/2008

After another heavy frost, New Year's Eve was a cold but glorious day.
Leaving Porthsele I paddled out around Carreg Gafeilliog. With the ebbing tide aiding me, I let it take me across to the NE tip of Ramsey Island. I followed a lone bull seal swimming on the surface for a while obviously, like me, using the tide to his advantage. It got a bit crowded for a while with a couple of porpoise swimming against the tidal flow.

After a little bit of turbulence nearing Ramsey which nearly got me wet I entered the calm sheltered water along the east side of Ramsey Island where I paddled down towards the Bitches which looked quite ominous silhouetted against the glassy flat Ramsey Sound.

With the tide flowing southwards I had to watch out not to be taken through the Bitches as it would be a long wait for the tide to ease off enough to be able to paddle back up through them.

The Bitches are quite impressive at low water and it is easy to see why they have been such a hazard to shipping passing through the Sound throughout the ages.

Paddling out along them was it was amazing as I got to the nearest Bitch to the mainland how fast the water was flowing even on such a calm day. I nearly got dragged down too far whilst taking the above photo and it was quite a struggle to get back to the slower, calmer water, the lengths I go to to take a photo!
I decided not to attempt a crossing of the Sound by here but to paddle northwards along the edge of the main tidal flow where there is an eddy flowing the other way.

On reaching the NE corner of Ramsey Island it was then a ferry glide across the Sound. As can be seen by the map, the tide took me southwards for a while until nearing the mainland.

It was then a gentle paddle back stopping numerous times to take photos of the setting sun.

A great paddle, what a fantastic way to bring 2008 to an end.

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