Monday, 31 May 2010

Carreg Rhoson 31/05/2010

Leaving Porthsele an hour after low water and with about two hours of the southerly flowing ebb tide I plan to paddle straight out in the direction of North Bishop and see what occurs.
The sea is pretty flat and with not too much wind but as I expected the further I paddle out the tide takes me away from North Bishop and more towards Carreg Rhoson, the middle rock between North Bishop and the lighthouse of South Bishop.
I am taken by the tide south of the two rocks of Carreg-trai which lie about halfway between St David's Head and North Bishop. They are submerged a couple of hours before and after high water and as a result have claimed a fair few ships through the ages.
As I get nearer to the group of rocks that make up Carreg Rhoson the South Bishop lighthouse is nicely framed in one of the gaps between the rocks.

The tide flow increases as I reach Carreg Rhoson so I break out of the flow and take a breather behind one of the rocks. Looking northward I take a photo of the rocks that make up North Bishop. Looking southward toward South Bishop there is a patch of rough water where the tide is flowing through the gap between the rocks.

I am undecided whether to carry on to South Bishop but a strong wind warning on the VHF makes my mind up as it doesn't take much wind to whip up the sea around the Bishops and Clerks, so I begin my paddle back across to Ramsey Island.

The paddle across to Ramsey was through varying sea conditions with areas of flat calm but fast flowing tide to patches of pretty large standing waves which even stopped me taking photos at one stage but it all adds to the fun!
As I near the island the conditions calm and I don't have to worry toomuch about the tide flow, I can now let it take me down to the south of the island.
I paddle toward the steep pebbled beach of Porth Lleuog with the hope of exploring the numerous caves and holes that riddle the cliffs here but there is quite a large swell which is a shame but there is always another day.

One good thing about today's swell is the blowhole by Porth Lleuog is spurting out large amounts of spray.
Paddling on southward the waves are breaking pretty impressively on Martin's Point as it is now affectionately known (sorry mate) but as I paddle into Bay Dillyn the sea calms down.

AsI paddle through Twll y Dillyn and back into Ramsey Sound there are large amounts of Guillemots perched precariously on the cliff faces.

It is now an easy paddle northward through Ramsey Sound with the flood tide just starting to flow to complete a paddle of 10 nautical miles (18.5kms).

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Ramsey Island 30/05/2010

I left Porthsele and paddled through the centre of Ramsey Sound and down to the Bitches using the last hour or so of the southerly flowing ebb tide.
The Bitches were in the final stages of their southerly flow until the small period of slack water before it starts flowing the other way.
The conditions were near perfect as I paddled south along the south eastern cliffs of Ramsey.
I paddle into one of the caves which didn't have too much headroom but once I was inside it opened up into a larger chamber with two other exits out of it, though the one opened onto a small cove.
Passing the arch at Penrhyn Twll I paddle into another cave which also has another exit but this one is in the roof of the cave, so no way out there.
Paddling into Bay Dillyn the swell picks up as is pretty usual by here but the tide is in my favour so it is an easy paddle and also a chance to cool off as I get slightly wet for the first time today.
Leaving Bay Dillyn and rounding Trwynmynachdy the swell picks up a bit, probably best I don't go through the small gap between the rock and the cliff, what do you reckon Martin.
Paddling across Porth Lleuog with it's numerous caves and holes there are large patches of foam which seem to stick to everything, they must be the remnants of yesterday's high wind and surf.
I keep my distance from the high cliffs as I paddle northward along the west coast of Ramsey to avoid the quite frequent large waves and any resulting clapotis.
Paddling into the large bay of Abermawr the conditions calm considerably and glancing up at Carnysgubor I catch a glimpse of a deer silhouetted on the skyline. Although there is a herd of Red Deer on the island I have never seen any before so today is a first.
As I paddle around the north of Ramsey and back into Ramsey Sound I decide to do a complete trip around Ramsey by paddling back down to the Bitches. Paddling past Ogof Velvet I notice two birds of prey on the cliffs above. Approaching closer I see they are both Peregrine Falcons, the photos aren't up to much as I had to zoom right in, but I am seeing plenty of wildlife today.
I paddle towards Rhod Uchaf where the yellow flowers of the gorse are in bloom and as I paddle to the cave entrance that pierces the headland I am hopeful that the tide is the right level to paddle through.
The tide is just right and there is no swell so I can take a shortcut through the headland and paddle into the next bay of Rhod Isaf.
Reaching the Bitches the north flowing flood tide is starting to pick up pace as it is forced through the narrow channel and arch by the landing jetty on the island.
Working my way across to the first rock I stop in the calm water, there is already quite a difference in the water level above and below the Bitches. The rock in the second picture is the same rock which I have photographed on 28/05/2010 when it was submerged.
I now let the tide take me back northward up through Ramsey Sound where the tide race is starting to build up nicely.
As I paddle through the Sound the conditions vary from flat calm areas to some areas of standing waves which round off a very enjoyable paddle of just over 9 nautical miles (17km).