Saturday, 24 July 2010

Day 2....The Joys Of The British Summer 24/07/2010

Waking to a very different day to yesterday, with higher winds and drizzle it was not such a good way to start the day packing everything up in the wet.

Paddling around Watwick Point and West Blockhouse Point I was slightly concerned about the paddle out of the Haven and around St Ann's Head and my concerns were well founded!

It wasn't until I reached Little Castle Point, just over 1 nautical mile from St Ann's Head, that the camera ventured out again! I wasn't too worried as the Angle Lifeboat passed me on their way to the Yacht Voyager, so at least they were already out if required!
My decision to paddle straight along this stretch of coast line yesterday without taking any photos backfired on me as the conditions today were far from ideal for exploring and taking photos.
I paddle close into Marloes Sands where it seems a little bit more sheltered and take a photo of what I think are the Three Chimneys, vertical beds of alternating sandstone and mudstone.
As I paddle up to around Gateholm Island news comes on the VHF that the Angle Lifeboat now has the Voyager safely under tow and is returning back to Milford Haven.
Rounding Gateholm Island I paddle into Albion Sands, named after the wooden Paddle Steamer Albion with some of the remaining wreckage sticking out of the water. I decide to land and take a closer look forgetting about my skeg which I rarely use but have done today because of the wind and choppy conditions, b******s!!!
The Albion was wrecked in April 1837 after hitting a rock in Jack Sound was then run aground on the beach and became a total wreck short after.
Still cursing, I leave Albion Sands and paddle over towards Rainy Rock where the solitary boulder is still perched precariously at the top of the smooth cliff face, one day I will paddle past here and it will be gone.
Despite the slightly inclement weather I have reached Jack Sound a lot earlier than I had planned and the tide is flowing at just about full force against me. However staying close to the mainland I manage to get through but cannot explore the numerous caves as the tide is too low.
I decide to paddle into a deserted Martin's Haven to fill my water bottles and warm up some Rice Pudding as I wait for the tide to ease before crossing Jack Sound to pay the Puffins a visit in North Haven.
Paddling into North Haven there are large numbers of Puffins outside their burrows on the cliffs, on the water and flying around. The two staff in Lockley Lodge ( the Wildlife Trust shop at Martin's Haven) who kindly filled my water bottles informed me that, the Puffins are preparing to leave Skomer to winter somewhere in the North Atlantic.
I spend a while just drifting amongst the rafts of Puffins, I could sit and watch them for hours but I guess I had better set off on my way again.

As I paddle back along the Neck of Skomer there are still large numbers of Puffins in rafts, I suppose maybe taking a last rest before they fly off until their return next March or April, hopefully see you all then.
I paddle close to the cliffs along the North facing cliffs of St Brides Bay into Musselwick Sands with it's black cliffs very different to the red sandstone around St Ann's Head.
Paddling Northwards from Musselwick Sands up to the Nab Head the cliffs change back to the red sandstone again, it's just a shame about the weather not being ideal for taking photos.
From the Nab Head it is only a short paddle to St Brides Haven where I had decided to spend the night. I have camped here before and it is a lovely little sheltered bay.
I manage to pitch the tent and have a wander around the picturesque little bay before another band of mist and rain confines me to the tent for the rest of the evening.
A paddle of just over 15 nautical miles (30 km or 18.5 miles) with not as much exploring as I would have liked due to our temperamental British so called Summer weather!

1 comment:

Stuart said...

The amount of times I've done the same, take a picture and realise you've landed with your skeg down. At least it was only sand! Good trip considering the weather.