Saturday, 12 December 2009

Paddling Away Those Winter Blues 12/12/2009

Launching from the slipway at Goodwick, inside Fishguard harbour with a cloudless blue sky and an easterly breeze, but nothing to worry about and it should stop me getting too warm!
I paddled straight out to the small lighthouse on the harbour's outer breakwater. I then paddled NW to the headland of Pen Anglas where I decided to paddle straight to Strumble Head using the last of the westerly flowing ebbing tide to aid me and then do the exploring on my return leg.
I made good progress with tide and wind helping me, passing the Fishguard to Rosslare ferry returning back to Fishguard and also a rather stroppy Bull Seal accompanying me for about 15 minutes, splashing and snorting behind me. As usual as soon as I stopped paddling and grabbed my camera he would disappear with a big splash.
Once I had I passed out of his manor he left me to paddle off on my own. Rounding the headland at Pen Caer, the lighthouse at Strumble Head comes into view.
It is only a short distance to the lighthouse, which was built in 1908 by Trinity House to improve the safety of sea traffic between Ireland and the newly built Fishguard Harbour.
The gap between the mainland and Ynys Meicel, the small island which the lighthouse is built on, had just enough water to paddle through, and the tide was just starting to flow eastward, my timing was spot on. I passed a young seal as I paddled through, totally oblivous to me as he slept in the sunshine. There were also 2 healthy looking seal pups tucked away on the pebbles so I paddled through quickly not wanting to disturb them.
It was very sheltered on the western side of the lighthouse with good views of St David's Head in the distance. I stopped for a drink and to sample a 'Limited Edition" Dark Mars Bar! which was very tasty, I might have to stock upon these.
On the return leg I paddle through the larger gap between Ynys Meicel and Carreg Onnen completing my circumnavigation of the small island!
Hugging the coast on the way back I pass numerous waterfalls which all are flowing quite fast due to the large amount of rain we have had recently.
Rounding Carregwastad Point where the ill fated last invasion of mainland Britain occurred when a force of some 1400 Frenchies landed here, for a more detailed story click here, I enter the large bay of Aber Felin where another spring flows into the sea.
In the bay there are numerous small coves, most of which are full of seals, keeping my distance not wanting to incur the wrath of the Bull seal who followed me earlier, I paddle out of the bay.
Passing yet another waterfall I am soon rounding the headland of Pen Anglas again and paddling along the North Breakwater.
As I reach the end of the Breakwater the ferry comes round out of the harbour on its way back over to Ireland. I let it pass and am surprised how fast it is already moving, best not get in its way.
Instead of paddling back into Goodwick I paddle across to the small sheltered harbour of Lower Fishguard with its entrance still guarded by cannons.
I paddle into the flat calm water of the harbour and have a brief rest before heading back to the slipway.
The sun is just starting to set, not as spectacular as last night but chance again to experiment with the camera.
Another great paddle covering a distance of 13 nautical miles (15 miles or 24km). Its amazing how soon you forget about the recent weeks of paddling inactivity due to the weather.

1 comment:

stoney (Martyn) said...

Now that does look good, and those Mars bars.......Mmmmm1