Friday, 28 May 2010

Back In The Nordkapp ....At Last! 28/05/2010

After an absence of a month and a half due to work commitments I was back down West Wales and finally going to get back in my Nordkapp. Porthsele was deserted and during my time away someone had planted a rather large tree!
I had no paddling plan in mind, I was just glad to get back on the sea. I turned left or should I say port after paddling out of Porthsele and into Ramsey Sound where the 6.6 metre flooding Spring tide was starting to pick up speed.

I paddled quite close to the mainland to stay out of the adverse tide up to Pen dal-adeyrn the southerly point of Ramsey Sound, where I paddle out into the main tide race and let it take me back northward and out toward the Bitches.
The tide takes me past the Bitches but paddling into an eddy I am taken back up to the nearest Bitch (rock) to the mainland.

I work my way across the line of jagged rocks towards Ramsey Island being taken away from the Bitches by the flow and then taken back towards the reef by eddies.

Sheltering in the calm water behind the Bitch which the playboaters climb onto to get above the main surfing wave, I watch the clear water pouring over the rocks and look back across from where I have just come, the Bitches in full flow, a pretty impressive sight.
I make my way across the largest gap between the rocks where the main wave is, which is looking nice and glassy today.
Again sheltering this time behind the nearest Bitch to Ramsey I watch the flooding tide being forced through the gaps between the jagged reef of rock and it is easy to see why so many ships have come to grief here. One of these being the St David's Lifeboat Gem which in 1910 was swept onto the reef with the loss of 3 crew.
After watching the spectacle of the Bitches in full flow for a while I start to make my way back northward through Ramsey Sound which is very easy to say the least with the flow in my favour. As I paddle across towards the mainland the present day St David's Lifeboat Garside has been launched.
They are obviously on a jolly and seem to be having great fun playing around in the tide race. The twin 6 cylinder diesel engines sound pretty awesome especially when motoring against the flow.
Returning to Porthsele, the beach is still deserted, don't know how long it will stay that way! A great paddle of only 5.5 nautical miles (10km), good to get the feel of the Nordkapp again especially in the turbulent waters of Ramsey Sound.
Before it got dark the boys and I went back down the beach to take advantage of the peace before the hordes arrive tonight and tomorrow. I wonder how long the tree trunk will be vertical!

1 comment:

stoney (Martyn) said...

Your a braver man than me Richard, those bitches were certainly running there wern't they!
I'm disapointed I didn't get down the second week. the kids were ill so I didn't make it.
I managed to get over to Anglesey that weekend though.