Paddling out from the Sully YC slipway I knew I had the last hour or two of the easterly flood tide so maybe I could paddle to Monkstone Lighthouse but at the moment it was hidden in a bank of early morning mist.
I decided to paddle out towards Steep Holm and let the tide take me past Flat Holm and then hopefully down to Monkstone Lighthouse if the tide hadn't turned by then.
As I paddle I am overtaken by the See Stern, an 83 metre long General Cargo Ship on her way to Newport. I pass well south of the Lavernock Spit South Cardinal Buoy with the large caravan site above St Mary's Well Bay in the background.
Although flat calm the GPS showed I was averaging a speed of just over 5 knots as the tide took me down towards Flat Holm. As I got closer to Flat Holm the amount of Gulls began to increase and more annoyingly so did the noise!
Before I knew it I was swept past the lighthouse and disused gun emplacement at Lighthouse Point, all the time surrounded by the incessant gulls, whose numbers have increased hugely since I was last here only 2 weeks ago.
It didn't take too long to get to the light and as I thought the tide had turned and was starting to flow westward so just right for my return paddle. Monkstone Lighthouse was built in 1839 on a small area of rock that dries out at low tide.
As I leave Monkstone the tide is already starting to pick up speed and I decide to follow the line of three buoys which should take me nicely back towards Sully YC. The first buoy I reach is the Cardiff Spit red port buoy.
I am soon paddling into Sully Sound, the narrow stretch of water between Sully Island and the mainland When I near the slipway there are numerous sailing boats from the yacht club also enjoying the near perfect conditions.