Saturday, 5 June 2010

South Bishop 05/06/2010

I actually had a paddle planned for today but that was sort of scuppered when I found out I had to go shopping for a fancy dress costume in Siop y Bobol, the charity shop in St David's for tonight's festivities to celebrate Adrian's birthday.

My original plan was to use the last of the ebb tide to take me to South Bishop for slack tide and come back with the flood.
Paddling into Ramsey Sound, the north flowing flood tide was already well in swing.

At Penrhyn Dalar the headland after St John's Point, there was a large swell which I could use to surf through the adverse tide flow.

Reaching Pen Dal-adeyrn, the southerly most point of the Ramsey Sound mainland, it was make or break time as I had to cross the main tide race of the water entering Ramsey Sound.

Paddling out into the race I found out it wasn't too strong and crossed quite easily without losing too much ground. If I had been taken north of the Bitches that would be the end of the alternative route out to South Bishop.

As I paddled southward towards the southern end of Ramsey I was surprised how slow my progress was, this was turning into a bit of a slog, showing the advantages of letting the tide do the work!

Reaching Midland Isle I was very tempted to take the easy option and just paddle around Ramsey as the tide would be with me now all the way along the seaward side of the island, but I decided to carry on along Ynys Bery and out into St Bride's Bay.

There was a large swell breaking on the high cliffs, but for the first time I had a bit of tide helping me.At the end of Ynys Bery there were some large overfalls and confused water but by now I was determined to reach South Bishop.

Paddling on I hoped the sea would calm down the further I got away from Ramsey Island.

As I had hoped, the further I got from Ramsey the calmer the conditions got and I could finally ease off the paddling and ferry glide out to South Bishop, passing groups of Puffins on the way.

Like yesterday, a group of Gannets followed me and I passed numerous Puffins as the tide took me out toward the lighthouse.

As I got nearer to South Bishop the tide was flowing very quickly on both sides of the rock and even by the landing steps the normally calmish water was very confused and choppy.

There was to be no respite at the lighthouse. Not wanting to be taken by the tide past South Bishop and further out to sea I had to start back straight away on the long ferry glide back to Ramsey. This trip was definately turning into a bit of a hard slog.

It was a hard paddle at first not to lose any ground as I started my paddle back but passing Daufraich, the tide race eased slightly.

I passed more Puffins and a lobster pot buoy which showed that although calm, the tide was still flowing at a fair rate.

I had to speed up a little to keep clear of the partially submerged rock of Llechau-isaf.

After what seemed like an age I finally reached Trwyn-drain-du at the NE of Ramsey and after dodging the swell, paddled round the point where I could finally have a well earned break.

>It was now a leisurely paddle along the North of Ramsey and back across Ramsey Sound where a sailing yacht passed me. A lot less effort but nowhere near as much excitement or achievement. A paddle of 11 nautical miles (20.5km), mostly against the tide which highlights the advantages of having the tide in your favour.

There was just time for a quick shower before heading to the beach for the start of what turned out to be a rather fruitful evening!!

Friday, 4 June 2010

North Bishop 04/06/2010

With today being yet another glorious day I decide to paddle out to St David's Head and then out toward North Bishop and see what occurs!

There is a slight haze today as I look towards my intended target of North Bishop and to Ramsey Island on my left.
As I approach the group of rocks that make up North Bishop I am circled by a group of Gannets, I hope they don't mistake me for a large sand eel!
Reaching North Bishop I spot a Gannet on the rocks, he doesn't seem too bothered by my presence but looking closer I can see he has a plastic ring stuck around his body and wings, sadly his days are probably numbered. I wish people could see the suffering they cause when they leave their rubbish on the beach or chuck it in the sea. Perhaps they would then think twice, but somehow I doubt it!There is a largish swell as I paddle around the SW tip of North Bishop but it soon eases up on the east side.I wanted to paddle into what looks like a cave entrance but it is guarded by three seals so not wanting to disturb them I paddle on. As yet I haven't seen any Puffins today, only Gannets and Guillemots, they must be out at sea.
Having a break before paddling back across to the mainland I paddle into an inlet with an arch which is partially blocked, it almost looks like concrete, must be some geological word for this but I have no idea.
The tide is starting to run as I leave North Bishop and begin my long ferry glide back to St David's Head.As I pass the two rocks of Carreg-trai I see my first Puffins of the day fly overhead.
Although there are no obvious signs of any tide flow, when I pass a lobster pot buoy, the speed of the tide can be clearly seen. I don't seem to be losing any ground so my ferry glide angle must be ok, I hope.
As I near the mainland it gets a little hazy again. I wonder if there is a sea mist coming in, not to worry though as I am nearly back.
I am soon paddling past Carreg Gafeilliog and back into Porthsele after a paddle of 9 nautical miles (16.5 km) which mostly consisted of a ferry glide there and back.
The day was then brought to a close by another sunset.