I paddled straight out heading towards the East Cardinal Dakotian Buoy. The buoy is named after the British steamer Dakotian which lies about 100m from the buoy. She was sunk on November 21st 1940 by a magnetic mine dropped from a German bomber and is a popular dive site. All of the crew were rescued except for one, which boats spent the night searching for him, only to find out that he had swam ashore, hitched a lift to Milford where his family lived, enjoyed a good meal, a bath and sleep, forgetting to inform anyone of his safety.
I then paddled southward to the North Cardinal Angle Buoy. Whilst there I noticed the pilot launch and 2 large tugs heading out to sea.
The pilot launch then makes a sharp u turn and heads in my direction, they ask where I am heading and warn me that a large ship is soon to be entering the Haven and could cause a large wake so would be a good idea if I vacated the area!
I thank them for their advice and have a hasty paddle eastward to Thorn Rock East Cardinal Buoy and then southward again out of the Haven hopefully to sheltered water by Rat Island where I should be far away to watch the ship entering the Haven.The Australian Spirit is a Crude Oil Tanker, built in 2004 and is 255 metres long and 44 metres wide so pretty big!
Paddling SE around Sheep Island, it was here that one half of one of the worst shipwreck disasters in West Wales occurred.
In April 1943 two experimental landing craft were on a voyage from Belfast to Falmouth. Running into rough seas LCG15 hit rocks off Sheep Island throwing all onboard into the cold stormy waters. The Angle lifeboat could not launch due to engine repairs and by the time the St David's Lifeboat battled towards the scene LCG16 had also capsized and sank. Only 1 man was found alive in the sea and 2 managed to make it ashore, the death toll that night was, sadly, 78.
Carrying on towards the vast expanse of sand at Freshwater West, I get as far as East Pickard Bay when I decided to turn back as the wind had increased, so staying close to the clifffs I tried to stay out of the northerly wind as best as I could.
It was here in 1894 that the sailing ship Loch Schiel was wrecked. She was carrying a cargo of gunpowder, beer and cases of whisky, which came ashore. Most were never recovered hence the description Wales' "Whisky Galore". All the crew were rescued but it is reported that two local men drowned whilst trying to get a keg of whisky ashore and another died from alcohol poisoning.
Turning eastward I catch my first glimpse of the LNG Tanker Tembek.