Sunday, 2 April 2017

Ramsey Island

I haven't paddled since the end of January for a number of reasons and with light winds forecast for the weekend I was eager to get on the water again.  Pembrokeshire was the obvious choice and it was decided to paddle around Ramsey Island.

The almost spring tides were flowing north for most of the day until around 2pm so we launched from Porth Clais hoping the weather window would allow us a full circumnavigation.  There were eight of us in total, Kay, Paul, Sean, Chris, Patrick, Peter and Eurion.
The winds have been strong in previous days so it was no surprise the conditions were choppier than what you would expect for a force 1-2 forecast.  There was a sizable swell rolling in from the south west.
Crossing Ramsey sound myself and Sean took a more direct route and waited for the others in the lee of Ynys Bery at the Midland Gap.
With the tide running at about full flow and the swell the conditions through the Midland Gap didn't look favourable so it was agreed to continue up the east side of the island through Ramsey Sound.  We can alway come down the west side when the tide turns later in the day.
No further were we on our way we were called back for a faff meeting.
Anyway faff over and I'm happy to be on our way.  Photo by Evans.
Back underway we head for the Bitches.  Not up to much, a lot of flow and a bit messy.

We play a little while in the flow, watch as Eurion decides to paddling in backwards/sideways, then head for the landing beach.
The tide was to high to land on Ramsey so we decided we can land near Whitesands at a small bay called Porthselau.
The tidal flow near horse rock allowed for some glassy wave fun.

We pulled up on the golden sands some more gracefully than others...
Peter and Chris rides in on some bigger sets were entertaining.

Sean cooked up a few bacon sarnies.
Sean and North Bishop
Back on the water we skimmed out past the rocky outcrop of Gwahan and down onto the west side of the island with the Bishops and Clerks out on our far right.
The conditions were a little choppy, especially around major headlands.
Guillemots lining the cliffs were disturbed by one of the tourist boats and took to the air in their hundreds circling overhead.

The conditions on the west side rarely allow time to linger and explore so it wasn't long before we were shooting back through Midland Gap and back into the shelter of Ramsey Sound.

We then retraced our earlier steps back up to the Bitches which were now flowing in the opposite direction.

In a eddy behind one of the Bitches a curious young seal came to check us out, probably hasn't seen many kayaks before.

We eddy hopped our way back across the sound and back to Porth Clais which always seems to take forever.

It was back to our usual retreat, The Bishops, for a pint and a bowl of chips.  Another great day on the water making the most of some fantastic warm spring weather.