Saturday, 22 August 2015

Plan C - Ramsey Island

It seems people still find this blog of interest even though I haven't written anything new in over a year.  So for you here's a trip we did back in August (writing this in November) and thank you very much for your continued reading.

Elan and myself jumped in his car early morning to head over to St Davids, Pembrokeshire, to meet up with Jules and James for what was forecast to be a perfectly settled day.  So perfect was the forecast that we intended to paddle out to the Bishops and Clerks, a committing trip to a group of offshore islands approximately 5km off St Davids Head and Ramsey Island.  Eager to get underway we left the still waters of the harbour entrance into... 
..a lively looking sea state, not the smooth still waters we were expecting.  So eager was I to get on the water I left my day hatch open and flooded the contents, great start.
Jules heading on toward Carreg Fran in his P&H Delphin.
Through Carreg Fran we made a beeline into the oncoming swell for the most southerly tip of Ramsey Island, Ynys-Bery, the 'Enduring Island'.
In open water the conditions remained choppy but we remained on course as planned.

Picture by James, Eland and myself discussing our options. 
We could spot some white water off the tip of Ynys Bery.  We decided to continue on but it looked unlikely we would be heading any further offshore to the Bishops.  Alternatively Plan B was to head up the west side of Ramsey with the remaining flood tide.
Leaving the sheltered eddy behind the small island of Ynys Eilun (Idol Island) it became immediately obvious the Bishops were a no go.
James in his P&H Cetus at the most southerly tip of Ynys Bery.  Elan and Jules were just a little ahead.  The sea state was big, bigger than any of us (except possibly Elan) were comfortable with.  Me and James agreed we should turn back.  We signal to the other two who also came to the same conclusion.  Plan A and B were off, time for plan C... turn and PLF (paddle like f#@k)
As soon as I had confirmation we were all turning with our tails between our legs I was gone.  The tide was pushing forcefully against us as it wrapped around the island but fortunately we were able to surf the waves into less committing waters.
One last push through the swell as the heavens opened brought us safely into the tranquil waters of Ramsey Sound.

Midland Gap the gateway between east and west or today heaven and hell.  James and Elan decide to slip quickly though the gap and wish they never had, the push back through against the tide was apparently a little harder.
 A seal popped up to see what all the fuss was about while we were waiting for the other two.
On our way again up the east side of Ramsey, continuing on not wanting to disturb the lazing seals on the south beach.
A bull made certain we were moving on as they so often do.  This is the only way your going to get a picture of a pursuing seal.  
The Bitches never seem to loose their menacing appeal, even on a calm day in the sound.
Actually this is how I prefer it, small and fast.
Picture of James and me on the Bitches by Jules.
Elan showing off.  
James breaking though the eddy.
Jules riding the wave.
After enough fun we landed on the only permitted landing spot providing there are no seal pups hauled up, which there weren't.  
After a bit of lunch we continued on up the east side of Ramsey exploring various caves on the way.

By the time we reached the north east tip of Ramsey the conditions on the west looking over to the Bishops looked far more inviting.  However the tide had now turned and it was far to late for that.  So we opted to cross over the sound and explore the shoreline side of the sound, which some of us hadn't explored before.  
We were lucky enough to encounter a porpoise with a calf at it's side mid crossing.
Elan launching his new P&H Aries from the St Davids lifeboat soon to be redundant slipway.
And Elan loves life boats so much he even got the matching colours.
 A few more caves and we were soon back on the home stretch again toward Porth Clais.

Ah yes this is my new sail and this was it's first outing, except there wasn't anymore than a slight breeze.
Picture by Jules.  Elan with his Flat Earth Code 0 mounted to his P&H Aries and myself with my Flat Earth Trade Wind 8 mounted to my Tahe Marine Greenland T.  

No comments: