Thursday, 8 July 2010

A Windy Fishguard Harbour 04/07/10

We arrived in Fishguard Saturday, 5 adults and 5 kids and had a great day at Folly Farm. I checked the weather for the week on the Met Office phone report as I don't have a VHF yet. Force 5 today possible 6/7 later, however sea condition 'slight'. I headed on down the road to Goodwick to check out the sea state and it looked very flat but really choppy.

I went back fetched the boat and decided to test the wind and explore the cliffs along the harbour. The wind was really strong and nearly tipped the boat on a few occasions.

In the shelter of the cliffs there were plenty of caves to explore, most with a curtain of water from the previous days showers.

Hugging the cliffs to stay out of the wind this Oyster Catcher was going ballistic. I then saw the reason why. Well camouflaged in the seaweed was a tiny chick.

Mum or dad then arrived and started swooping at me. I took a quick photo and left them in piece.

A bit further and more caves. This one opened right out at the back.

Looking now on to Fishguard Lower Town there was a tall ship anchored just off the harbour.

I paddled into the harbour and then leaving the shelter of the cliffs I made a hard slog over to the tall ship.

Trying to take a photo was quite hard, every time I stopped paddling I was blown away from the boat.

I have a thing for tall ships and after a bit of research found out that the Johanna Lucretia is a British Ship built in 1945 in Belgium. Originally she was built as a fishing ship but was never used for this purpose and was converted for recreational use in 1954. She starred in the film Amazing Grace and The Riddle of the Sands.

In my later paddle on Monday she had already set sail and left the harbour. That would have made a stunning picture!

Back to the shelter of the cliffs I look back upon Fishguard Fort which was built in 1781 to protect the town from pirates.

I find this nice little bay so I stop off for a stretch and consider my options.

Looking out toward the 'Sea Cat' at Goodwick Harbour the wind picked up a bit more making plenty of White Horses. I ditch the idea of paddling across the harbour to the lighthouse on the north breakwater as its to much of a cross wind.

Carrying up along the coast there are more caves and crazy swooping Oyster Catchers protecting their chicks.

I paddle as far as Y Das head where the water turns a bit rough as is completely exposed to the wind. Having known that Needle Rock, an impressive stack with an arch, was just around this head I would have carried on.
Paddling back into a headwind proved a bit of a challenge. I had to adopt a low paddling position and with every stop it was like one step forward two steps back. If there was an equivalent of paddling up hill this was it. All good fun though, every wave kicked up a bit of spray and I was soaked by the time I hit the beach at Goodwick. I finished off by paddling around the east breakwater to meet the family by the slipway.

It was then back to the caravan for kids club and more importantly a pint of Guinness! Zakk and Connor looking really smart in their matching waistcoats.

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