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This Blog is A Record Of My Personal Adventures And Wonderful Kayaking Lifestyle. It Is Also A Taster Of What You Can Expect If You're Adventurous Enough To Tag Along. Why Not Get In Touch And Join One Of Go Sea Kayaks Guided Trips On The Beautiful Mediterranean Island Of Sardinia, You Won't Regret it!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Tyla Images Expedition Around Wales Day 9...

Barafundle to Porth Melgan

Hard day today, really hard. Up at 5AM, (again, grrrr).
A stunning start again though, this section of coast is quite amazing & in hindsight this was my favorite leg of the whole trip.

St Govans head is a seriously imposing slab of rock, it looks from a distance like the prow of a great battleship. I had no idea however that there was a couple of arches cutting through it & I couldn't resist riding the current through one of them.

I generally kept well out from the shore but deviated inland for a closer look at the Green Arch. I contemplated going through but some big swells started pushing in so I played it safe & promised myself I'd come back soon.

Just past the green arch I was marveling at how some big swells were creating pretty large clapotis off the cliffs & trying to get a good shot of the action.
It dawned on me though that I was drifting rather quickly towards this action so I hastily put the camera away & tried to paddle to a safer stretch of water. I hit 6.3 knots in the current off the headland & with the swell coming from my front left & the clapotis from my front right it all got very tense & interesting.
I gave the headlands a wider berth after that.

The swells along this stretch of coast were around 6-8 feet evan on a calm day like this & it was keeping my concentration.

I hadn't studied the map too closely last night & so was surprised to see Lynney Head & St Annes Head further in the distance so soon into this leg.
I cut a straight line between the two heading straight for St Annes Head & was relieved to see that the mouth of the Cleddau was in a calm mood as I've heard it can get quite rough here.

Upon reaching the tip of Gateholm Island I remove my hat & don my helmet, I've no idea what to expect at Jack Sound so I prepare myself for the worst.
Turns out Poseidon was in a particularly generous mood & granted me safe passage & a view to treasure.

Glad to still be alive & in need of a rest I pull into Martins Haven & top my water bottles up. As usual there are Swallows nesting in the toilets there, wonder if its the same couple each year?

Back in my kayak I made the rash decision to head straight across St Brides Bay towards Ramsey in an attempt to reach camp at Porth Melgan.
I had about two hours to reach Ramsey before the tide turned & about 7 nautical miles to get there. Do the maths, I needed to make 4 knots across the bay.
I think at this point Poseidon wanted to see some suffering for his amusement as payment for safe passage through Jack Sound.
I had a head wind all the way across & was paddling at 100% to make about 2.5 knots. It was a very long hard paddle to reach Ramsey.

I arrived quite late & Ramsey & the tide was ripping through. I saw a fishing boat exiting the sound backwards at quite a pace, not a good omen.
After the effort I'd put in to get here I was not in a quitting mood & decided to eddy hop my way upstream catching my paddle blades in the kelp as I went.
It was a bit tense squeezing past the Bitches but finally I reached the entrance to St Justinians. It was really moving now & I had one final tricky point jutting out into the current to pass before reaching the calm water of the bay.
I was quite wasted by now & pulled onto the slipway next to the lifeboat station & made myself some Porridge & a Cup of Coffee. Amazing what a rest & some food can do.

Feeling fresher I headed off once more to reach my chosen camp spot. The wind was really strong & in my face at Whitesands but it didn't matter as I was in no rush now, Paddling gently & enjoying the views.

In hindsight Porth Melgan wasn't an ideal camp spot. Beautiful & secluded yes, but there was only a small patch of grass to fit the tent on & it was uneven. The kayak had to stay on the beach too.
Still wonderfully peaceful though.

GEEK STATS, (up-to St Justinians as batteries ran out there)

Trip Odom 28.6 nautical miles, (32.9 Statute)

Max Speed 6.9 knots

Average Speed 3.6 knots

Time Moving 08:02:35


Leaving Barafundle Bay...

Leaving Barafundle Bay...

St Govans Head...

St Govans Head...

Church Rock...

St Govans Chapel...

Approaching the Green Arch...

The Green Arch...

St Annes Head...

Jack Sound...

Summer Residents at Martins Haven...

The unnecessarily long slog to Ramsey...

St Justinians

Entering Whitesands Bay...

Camp at Porth Melgan...

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