Saturday, 4 September 2010

Nordkapp Hard Astern! 04/09/2010

With the wind increasing overnight and the forecast not looking too good I decided to stay close to the mainland cliffs through Ramsey Sound and see how things go.
The coast between Porthsele and St Justinian I usually paddle straight past but today I am exploring every cave and inlet.
There are a few bays with very crumbly cliffs and then areas of harder more statuesque rocks which withstand the constant pounding of waves and the weather.
Knowing very little about geology I have no idea what the different rocks are called but there are a huge variety of colours and shapes in this short stretch of coast.
The tide is just right to take the short cut into St Justinian through the narrow channel between Ynys Dinas and the mainland.
I paddle past the existing St David's Lifeboat Station and into the adjoining cove which is the proposed site of the new boathouse, though I don't know when work is due to commence.
There are the remains of some of the test drilling equipment left from last year and as I paddle out of the cove I sample the view the lifeboat will have when it is launched.
Paddling on I pass more signs of cliff erosion and then paddle over towards the entrance of Ogof Mary.
Just as I am about to paddle into the cave a large bull seal comes steaming out of the cave to greet me and he doesn't look too happy, slamming the Nordkapp into reverse I make a very hasty retreat.
Turning the kayak rapidly I carry on paddling Southward expecting the irate bull seal to be following me but I think he is more concerned with having his wicked way with a female seal who was probably in the cave.
I stop for a rest at the old jetty complete with the now disused winching gear at Carn ar Wig which were used for the boats belonging to the Ramsey Island Farm.

At Pen Dal-adeyrn the Southerly tip of the mainland of Ramsey Sound I pass the remains of a 19th Century copper mine which was closed after a fatal accident in 1883.
Breaking into the tide race I let the tide take me Northwards back into Ramsey Sound while I watch the sun's rays trying to break through the cloud.
As I am swept past the Bitches the sun is still battling to break through the cloud creating quite good photo opportunities.
It is then an easy paddle back to Porthsele passing a bit of turbulence caused by the pinnacle of Horse Rock just below the surface.

Reaching Porthsele I am greeted by Bobby and Harry making the most of the last day of their 3 week Summer break and for me an interesting paddle to end my weeks' break.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Ramsey Island 03/09/2010

Normal service was resumed after yesterdays perfect conditions with the wind picking up again and creating quite a large swell. I crossed a choppy Ramsey Sound and made my way Southward towards the Bitches.  

As I approached the Bitches I was passed by the Thousand Islands Expedition RIB just leaving Ramsey. The Northerly flowing flood tide was easing just enough for me to be able to paddle against it and through the Bitches to continue Southward.

After my sprint through the Bitches I stopped for a breather near the arch at Penrhyn Twll looking back at the farmhouse above Aberfelin.

I was about to use the swell to paddle through the arch until I spotted a large black head with 2 large eyes staring back at me.  I made a quick exit not waiting to incur the wrath of another bull seal.

Reaching Twll y Dillyn conditions seemed pretty calm so I decided to carry on and paddle along the West side of Ramsey.

As I paddled through the gap between Midland Isle and Ynys Bery I passed over some large swell, turning the kayak I saw a large set of waves crashing against Ynys Bery, looks like I timed it just right.

Paddling out of Bay Dillyn and rounding Trwynmynachdy the swell didn't subside, this could be an interesting paddle.

I kept my distance from the cliffs as I paddled past the steep pebbled beach of Porth Lleuog and the surrounding coast.

As I continue northward along the West coast of Ramsey I stopped at all the small headlands and watched with awe at the power of the sea, what a difference to yesterday.

Paddling between Carreg-gwlan and Ramsey the waves were being funnelled into a small inlet creating quite impressive spray. 

The spectacular show continued as I paddled further northward although the pictures don't really do it justice.

As is often the case when I reach Abermawr the conditions calm and as I paddle along the North of Ramsey there are only larges patches of white foam as a reminder of the swell I've just  paddled through.

An exhiliarating paddle in the end considering I didn't really have any idea where I was going to paddle today.