Saturday, 6 August 2011

Solva to Ramsey

We awake to gulls noisily fighting it out over the harbour and a lone white egret fishing in the shallows.  Taran puts the porridge on the hob while we wait for Martyn and his dad to arrive.  It's nearing high water as we set off but due to the complexity of the tides the water will be running north through Ramsey sound for about another five hours or so.  The aim was to take our time, explore this rugged stretch of coat line between Solva and St Davids and paddle up through the sound and end at Porthselle where Martyn and his family were camped.
Most people see my boat and go "Tahe Marine" how do you pronounce that?  I've never seen another and then like the buses two come along at once.  That's Martyns orange Revel Mini, essentially a 15ft mini me version of my boat.
We head out of the harbour and to our first cave just at the entrance.
It's then out to the Scars for another visit.
Not as much swell as last night but still provides a little bit of interest.

Optimus Taran!  Taran tries out his new waterproof camera bag, the resulting shot shown bellow.
We then head back to shore to explore the hidden treasures.  This is the arch we found last night but was too dark to photograph.

Paddling beneath the colourful shades of Cambrian sandstones and shale's.
Last night we found a great rock hopping run.  A bit like a game of chicken, it was a long gully between the cliff face and some protruding rock, with the swell raising over the rocks into the cliffs.  Taran having the only plastic boat gave it a go... 
Starting off...
Here comes the swell...
Swept into the cliffs...
A face full of water...
And a big cheesy grin to finish.
The geology in this stretch is fascinating. 
Ship wreck.
The rest of the boat.  I'm going sideways into the cliff to take this shot, very close to having a hole in my keel!  Sometimes it's a gamble between pushing the shutter and getting the paddle back in the water.
Never mind the geology look how clear the water is! I miss this place, quite a difference to the murky brown Severn.  It's a quick pit stop at Porth Clais before continuing on westward.
Heading toward Carreg yr Esgob another small rock out crop, I'm more interested in the black clouds looming behind.
Martyn's dad and myself pass through the gap on the left, Taran and Martyn pass through the arch on the right.  I take a nose dive on the way back through leaving a white mark on the cliff, not used to the extra three foot yet!
Moving on the cross Ramsey sound the it seems the squall might just fall behind us.
Ramsey Island up ahead.  This particular summit on the south of the island is 72 meter high.  I believe the main summit is 128 meters.  That makes for some pretty steep cliffs.
We catch the tail of the showers as we cross paths with one of the Ramsey ribs.
This cave is absolutely huge.  Not a bad place to shelter from the rain.  A curious slightly bad tempered bull seal had the same idea.

Trying to get some sort of scale of the size of this cave.

We have a little nose around Bay Dillyn at the south side of Ramsey but decide it was a bit too choppy to go exploring the west of the island.  It was also only about another 45 minuites before the tide turned.
Still keeping a watchful eye over his ladies.
We head on up toward the Bitches which thankfully are tame enough at present.  Quite nice to actually go through and touch the famous rock.
Tame for now but I still get shivers looking back at them.
Martyn and his dad hug the towering cliffs while me and Taran pass through the Bitches.  They disappear behind a large outcrop so I went around to catch them at the other end only to find them paddling up a long narrow cave that passes through the cliffs.
Back around for another go so I join them.
The entrance, wouldn't even have know it was here.
Wow what a place.

We carry on up to the north of the island for a short ferry glide against the flow that has now turned to cross back over to the mainland.
The rain starts again and the wind gives us a little push around the St John Point into the quite calm of Porthselau.
Me and Taran take up the offer for a lift back to the van rather than paddle back to save the arms.  I believe Martyn forgot to mention the carry up the steep cliff to the caravan though!  A nice warm cuppa to comfort our damp acing muscles (can't believe it's summer!!) and then it's back to the van for Tarans speciality chili and rice and another warm brew.


Taran Tyla said...

Great Pics Stu!

Speciality Chili??? It came out of a tin (LOL)...

stoney (Martyn) said...

Taran, don't spoil the image - speciality chilli sounded amazing.

Definately good photos Staurt, nice to see someone elses view point on something I've photographed so much.

I think you were right, we didn't mention the climb back up to the caravan, but after a week or so of doing it you don't notice!
Great to finally meet up! Must do it again.

Stuart said...

The Chilli was great!

Far to many photo's, I took well over 200 shots that weekend.

We great meeting up and definately do it again.