Sunday, 31 May 2009

Ramsey Island 31/05/2009

Waking to another glorious day with flat calm sea, very little wind and the tides just right for a trip around Ramsey Island, Martyn didn't need to be asked twice!

We were on the water just before 11am with the idea to get across to Ramsey before the north flowing flood tide started to gain too much speed and then use it to our advantage on the west side of the island.
Rounding Penrhyn Dalar we had a little adverse tide but nothing to worry about. The water by here is a good gauge to see how things will be later on.

We paddle through Ramsey Sound a couple of hundred yards from the main flow aided by a south flowing countereddy.

Reaching Pen Dal-aderyn we break into the main flow and are immediately turned 90 degrees and taken back down to the Bitches. It is now a matter of a bit of hard paddling to ferry glide across the current and into the calmer waters near the island.

We now have a leisurely paddle up to Penrhyn Twll with its small arch that we paddle through and then hit a small bit of adverse tide.

Passing the high cliffs at Foel Fawr we stop to look at the Razorbills on their precarious nests on tiny rocky ledges.

Twll y Dillyn or the Devil's Hole is very calm today although we still whizz through there at a fair rate of knots.

Rounding Trwynmynachdy we paddle into Porth Lleuog the steep pebbled beach which is a popular pupping beach and stop for a drink and a snack, watched closely by a group of about 5 or 6 bull seals.

Paddling past the high sea cliffs leading up to Abermawr, which I think are some of the highest in Wales, we are followed by a few of the bulls making sure we are well aware of their presence by splashing and snorting as we paddle in front of them.

We then hit a bit of rough water on the headlands but it cools us down nicely, it's going to be a another scorcher.

Paddling across Abermawr we enter one of the large caves at the headland of Trwyn-drain-du. The cave has a main entrance and then a smaller tunnel that bypasses the headland.

Heading eastward along the north coast of Ramsey up to the NE corner of the island where, although Ramsey Sound looks flat clam, the tide is running pretty fast.

Using a south flowing counter eddy we paddle southward until we break into the main northerly flow.

It is then a leisurely ferry glide across to the mainland at St John's Point and back to Porthsele passing Sian who has caught the Pencarnan fishing bug!

A great paddle of nearly 8 nautical miles (just over 9 miles or nearly 15 kms) with the tide perfect all the way around.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

A Few Small Pleasures 30/05/2009

After spending the majority of a lovely sunny day on the beach with the family, Martyn and myself paddled out of Porthsele in the late afternoon to show Martyn some of the highlights of the east side of Ramsey Island and the mainland coastline opposite.

The intention was to paddle north of Ramsey and let the south flowing ebb tide take us into Bay Ogof Hen at the north of the island. We made such good progress that with a little sprint we were able to make it out to Gwahan the small rocky outcrop to the north of Ramsey.

We had a brief rest in the slack water by the rock and then broke into the tidal flow and let it take us down to Ramsey Island.

We spent a while exploring the numerous caves and were joined by a bull seal keeping a close eye on the intruders on his manor!

Paddling around Trwyn Ogof Hen we were back in the main tide stream but broke out of it to explore the east side of the island, in particular the large cave that pierces the headland between Rhod Uchaf and Rhod Isaf but today the tide was too low to paddle right through.

Passing the sheltered bay of Rhod Isaf we were soon down at the Bitches. We paddle along them to the nearest rock to the mainland where the tide is still flowing quite fast southward.

Instead of paddling straight back across to the mainland we paddle northward for a bit and then ferry glide across the main tidal flow and into Maen Bachau where we explore the numerous caves and inlets, but once again the tide is too low to be able to explore the caves fully.

We pass a Gull feasting on an unfortunate crab, closely guarding it, though I prefer them cooked! I manage to get a close up of an oystercatcher, normally they are quite timid birds.

Paddling into St Justinian, the home of the St David's Lifeboat, sunglasses are needed as we paddle into the setting sun back to Porthsele in the glassy calm water.

A leisurely evening's paddle, hope Martyn enjoyed it and that he doesn't tell too many people! Thanks again to Martyn for supplying some of the photos.