Monday, 26 October 2009

Seal Pups Galore 26/10/2009

Once again when I decide to take a few days off work the weather also decides to take a turn for the worse.
With the shipping forecast predicting wind increasing through the day, my paddling options were pretty limited once again.
With no real plan I paddle out to the jagged group of rocks of Carreg Gafeilliog which stand at the northern entrance to Ramsey Sound, passing a Guillemot which is already in it's Winter plumage.
I decide to follow the mainland coast of the Sound, cross over to Ramsey Island, paddle along the eastern side and then cross back over the sound to Porthsele.

Just before St Justinian I spot a very white fluffy seal near the water's edge on one of the numerous isolated beaches.

Passing St Justinian I paddle over to Ogof Mary where last night's rainfall is still seeping through the cave entrance onto the algae covered rocks below.
Paddling on I pass the natural arch and onto the sheltered beach at Carn ar Wig, where surprisingly there are no seal pups. On reaching Pen Dal-adeyrn, the southern most end of the Ramsey Sound mainland, there is very little tidal flow so I am able to paddle southwesterly without being dragged back northwards towards the Bitches. I paddle towards Ynys Eilun, the rocky outcrop that lies to the South of Ramsey Island.
The nearer I get to Ynys Eilun the more the wind starts to pick up and makes my progress quite hard. I cut my losses before reaching Ynys Eilun and let the wind and what little tide there is take me northward back along the east side of Ramsey Island. I make rapid progress past the high cliffs at the south of the Island passing quite a few seal pups dotted on the numerous small bays and inlets on the way.

Nearing the Bitches, the weather really closes in with the wind increasing and misty rain starting to fall. I pass through the Bitches with no tide flow which doesn't happen very often and stop for a chat with Tim of Venture Jet, we both comment about the glorious weather! Good to see he is still staying quite busy.
On the small beach by the landing jetty there are 2 more pups with a bull trying to have his wicked way with one of the pup's mothers so I leave them to it and paddle northward to Trwyn Ogof Hen.

At the headland looking back down to the Bitches and across to St David's Head, the weather is getting worse and I am undecided whether to carry on round to Bay Ogof Hen or head back across the Sound.
I decide on the first option and am rewarded by finding another pup snuggled upon a sheltered rocky ledge above the high water mark.
I watch him for a while before I am joined by a large bull who kindly escorts me out of the large bay and halfway across Ramsey Sound when I stop to take a photo of Carnysgubor and the north of the island disappearing into the mist.
Reaching St John's point I take a last look at Ramsey and wonder what the weather has instore for tomorrow, but at least I managed a decent if not shortish paddle today.

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