Saturday, 8 September 2012

Holm Alone

Our annual trip up to Skye has been postponed until the Spring but with a brief spell of high pressure this weekend I was going to make the most of it.  With my van loaded last night all set for Pembrokeshire I had to make yet another cancellation due to weather. 
I was determined to get out once this weekend so decided on a trip to my usual hot spot Flat Holm.  Southerly force 2-3, smooth to slight, it was perfect.  Visibility was poor, could only just make out Flat Holm on the horizon through the early morning haze.
Through the usual race off Sully island an I was on my way.  I was picking up all sorts of traffic on my VHF, apparently due to high pressure.  A lot of coastguards way down south around Plymouth and the Isle of White.  I had quite a bit of French conversation come over and a missile firing down around Guernsey and Jersey.  Kept me entertained anyway.
The sun was trying it's hardest but the haze and cloud didn't relent.  There was about 2 knot of flow and I was steaming along well over 6 knots.
A dark shape looms out of the haze also steaming along, quite glad I didn't set off to Steep Holm.  I reach Flat Holm in half hour from leaving Sully.
I paddle around the east side of Flat Holm and explore, it would be rude not to.
Arch not quite big enough at Castle Rock.  I suddenly realise it's very quiet, not a single gull in sight!
I land very briefly to get my lunch out of my hatch and move it to my deck bag before setting off again for Monkstone Lighthouse.
Not before ringing the Mrs to say morning.
Monkstone just visible through the haze on full zoom.
I use the last of the flood to take my straight up the channel.
My intention was to tie off the boat and have lunch up on the tower but the tide was still flooding quite strongly.  My boat was being dragged around the back of the tower and I didn't fancy getting in a tangle or risk not being able to pull my boat back around.  I managed to get out and have a a quick climb up the ladder though.
I made my way back to Sully, starting off against the tide, linking up the shipping buoys on the way.  Cardiff Spit.
Keep your eyes peeled these things have a habit of keeping up behind you.
I can never remember which one this is, it doesn't have a name?  At this point I stopped for a bit of chocolate, the GPS was showing 0 knots, no drift whatsoever.
By the time I reached Ranie buoy there was 1.8 knots of drift.  Lavernock outfall buoy in the far left.
I hit some moving water just off Lavernock.  Through the rough stuff and over the eddy line and I was home dry with barely no tidal assistance.
A tall ship heading up the channel.
The orange cliffs of Sully.
Back at Sully after a 2.5hrs round trip, and the sun comes out.  I sit up on the beach dry off my kit and have my lunch before heading home.
That's my battle scars, Monkstone Lighthouse paint from trying to tie off.
Even though I wish I was up in Skye or out in the turquoise seas off Pembrokeshire, it was really nice to be back on home waters in such pleasant conditions.

3 comments:

stoney (Martyn) said...

I'm going to have to come down and do this with you one day! I've read about it so much I feel as though Ive already been!
Well done on getting out, ( ive been tidyiong the garage)

Stuart said...

Ye will have to do it when you come down to circumnavigate Wales eh? :)

Taran Tyla said...

Hey, dont forget me, its my fave trip :)