Sunday, 21 February 2010

Ramsey Island first of many......hopefully 21/02/2010

After the heavy rain and sleet through the night I woke to yet another glorious day. The tides were just right for a paddle around Ramsey so I thought I would paddle over to the Island and take it from there.
Rounding St John's Point I get my first view of Ramsey Island basking in the February sunshine.
It is the next headland of Penrhyn Dalar that gives a good indication of how fast the tide is flowing as it flows right up to the cliff. Today with a little sprint I am round with no trouble, things are looking good.
I am aided by a counter eddy until I approach Pen Dal-aderyn when I again have to paddle against the tide until I reach another counter eddy.
This takes me up to the southern end of the Ramsey Sound mainland, where the northern flowing flood tide is forced between the narrow gap between Ramsey and the mainland.
It is then another sprint into the main tidal flow and paddle like crazy to ferry glide across it without getting dragged too far north towards the Bitches. Yet again all was going to plan and I didn't lose too much ground before I reached the calmer water at the SE of Ramsey.
It is then a steady paddle against a little adverse tide to SE corner of Ramsey passing numerous seals hauled out on the pebbled beach at Foel Fawr, today only one half heartedly follows me for a bit until returning to bask in the sun with his mates.
I take a slight detour on reaching Twll y Dillyn (the Devil's Hole) and paddle out at Ynys Eilun the large rock to the SE of Ramsey.
There is a bit of a swell to the south of the rock but some great views of the south of Ramsey and of Ramsey Sound with St David's Head in the background.
As usual there are standing waves as I paddle through Twll y Dillyn but with the tide in my favour it is an easy passage into Bay Dillyn.
After a few hundred yards the confused water calms down and I can admire the ruggedness of the cliffs at the southern end of Ramsey Island.

Rounding the headland of Trwynmynachdy and with the tide aiding my progress I can paddle with little effort taking in the views.
As I paddle northwards, the cliffs start to get higher and the numbers of Guillemot, Razorbill and Fulmar start to increase already trying to claim their tiny nesting site on the sheer cliffs.

The further I paddle up the west of Ramsey, the cliffs become no less impressive and if anything, the bird numbers increase which can only be a good sign, though it must be a touch chilly perched up on those cliffs in the middle of the night.
Between the headlands of Trwyn Bendre and Trwynllundain, the water becomes a little confused again but it all adds to the enjoyment.
I am soon paddling into the large bay of Abermawr where the sea conditions calm down a lot.
I paddle into the large cave before Trwyn-drain-ddu where it was surprisingly rough causing a lot of spray in the caves hence the not too good picture quality.
Paddling round the headland of Trwyn-drain-ddu there was a large patch of foam, time for some arty photos! What wind there was totally dropped off as I paddled along the north of the island and was soon paddling across a flat calm Ramsey Sound at the very short window of slack water.
Before I knew it I was paddling into a deserted Porthsele (the way I like it) in a short time it will be a different story. A paddle of nearly 8 nautical miles and hopefully the first of a few paddles around Ramsey Island throughout the year, weather permitting! Lets hope this period of weather isn't our summer come early, doesn't get much better than this. A great way to end a cracking weekend.

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