Saturday, 18 April 2009

Porthgain via a Blue Lagoon 18/04/2009

With it being another not too windy, cloudless sunny day I decided to use the last of the flood tide to take me NW up to Abereiddy or possibly Porthgain, and then use the first of the ebbing tide to bring me back to Porthsele on my return.

On reaching St David's Head I was quite surprised how choppy the sea conditions were so instead of paddling quite close to the cliffs I stayed a few hundred yards offshore.

Although I would miss exploring the numerous small coves and inlets on the way I would get the full benefit of the tidal flow and avoid the confused water near the cliffs.

Progress was quite rapid passing the 175m high peak of Carn Penberry and the rocky outcrop of Carreg-gwylan-fach.

Before I knew it I was entering Abereiddy bay dodging the numerous flagged buoys marking the spider crab nets.

The tide was just right to pass the remains of the old workings and through the narrow gap into the now flooded Abereiddy Slate Quarries now called the Blue Lagoon. The water is so blue due to the effect of the slate on the water.

This is an ideal place to have a rest as it is nearly sheltered from all directions. It is hard to imagine that in the 19th century the lagoon was a hive of industry, now it can be quite eerie especially like today when it is deserted.

Passing back out through the narrow entrance I look up to the 18th century stone tower on the headland of Trwyncastell.

After paddling between the rocky outcrop of Cerrig Gwylan and the mainland the sea conditions become a bit rougher around the headland of Penclegyr, but not enough to stop me going through the narrow arch which leads through Penclegyr and into Porth Dwfn and back again.

It is then only a short but quite choppy paddle to the small harbour of Porthgain with its now disused brick hoppers which were used to store crushed granite.

After another rest it is back to the return leg. I again decide to stay away from the cliffs. With the tide having now turned I make good progress and before too long I am back at the impressive high cliffs of St Davids Head and then Ramsey Island comes into view.

It is now a paddle across Whitesands Bay and back to a quiet Porthsele with Pencarnan campsite above.

A paddle of nearly 15 nautical miles (17 miles or just over 27km) exploring a lot of Pembrokeshire's industrial past.

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