Monday, 25 May 2009

Puffins on Ramsey....surely not! 25/05/2009

Paddling out from Porthsele on a slightly overcast but not too windy day I pass Adrian and Oscar returning from a paddle with Oscar looking remarkably relaxed!

Penrhyn Dalar is usually a good pointer to see how fast the tide is running and today it looks ideal for a trip around Ramsey Island, so I set a course straight through Ramsey Sound, being passed by quite a large trawler.

At the southern end of Ramsey Sound I pass a sorry looking Fulmar sat on a rock, I hope he is ok as the tide is starting to rise quite quickly.

As I begin to cross over to Ramsey Island I am passed by a sailing boat, it is a bit congested today in the Sound.

Crossing over to Ramsey was very easy as I have got the tides spot on today and will now have the tide in my favour for the rest of the trip.

The very strange pattern in the grass on Ynys Cantwr is very clear in today's overcast conditions, it is not man made and some say it is part of the "Pembrokeshire Triangle".

Even passing through Twyll y Dillyn (The Devil's Hole) is remarkably calm and I am able to take some pictures looking back at Bay Dillyn and Ynys Bery.

Paddling into Porth Lleuog there is a slight swell making it a bit risky to enter the cave and arch. Carrying on out of Porth Lleuog the lighthouse of South Bishop looks very close today but the tide is now starting to speed up.

The high sea cliffs on the way to Abermawr are now alive with thousands of Razorbills and Guillemots on their precarious nests, staining the cliffs white underneath where they are perched.

At Trwynllundain, the last headland before Abermawr, the sea gets a little lumpy but it all adds to the enjoyment and also cools me down.

Passing Abermawr I paddle into Ogof Tywod where once inside there are good views of Cairnllundain.

At the northern end of Ramsey there are numerous caves to explore with a couple getting me quite wet from the water seeping through from above as I paddle into them.

It is whilst entering one of the caves I notice numerous Puffins on the cliffs above but on taking a closer look I see they are plastic!

About 150 have been placed on various locations around the island in a bid to lure the real thing back to the island. They were last recorded breeding on the island in 1894, but some time before this rats had arrived on Ramsey and the eggs and chicks were easy prey for them.

The island has now been rat free since the winter of 1999/2000 so maybe in a few years the water around Ramsey will be full of Puffins like it's neighbour Skomer.

Paddling back into the Sound the tide is now flowing quickly and I am soon back at St John's Point where I take one last look at Ramsey Island as it slowly disappears into the mist.

A great paddle of just over 8 nautical miles (approx 9.25 miles of 15km) with my timing spot on for the tides.

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