May 18

Wales:

St. David’s Head and Ramsey Sound

the only obstacle to navigation in the Sound: this ship was cruising back and forth across the fairway!

calm, focussed, and efficient: Steve at the wheel

I departed Neyland at first light with Steve aboard as crew, on May 10. We made a long day

Aberystwyth Castle ruins, with the square tower of the church and the hotel in the background

of the passage around St. David’s Head, and across Cardigan Bay to Aberystwyth. It was a good day, with calm seas and light winds, but inevitably in a long day, we were against the tide for 6h. Much slower progress, then!

Ramsey Island from the Sound

Aberystwyth foreshore as we approach

look carefully under the white building to see my boat tucked into the marina

the whitish dot on the right is actually a huge jellyfish. Hard to photograph, but about 0.7m in diameter, there were hundreds as we entered the harbour

the funicular going up to the headland, where there is the world’s largest camera obscura, a replica of one from Victorian times

the foreshore of Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth was deceptive in approach, as we saw the ruins of the castle on our approach, with what seemed to be a much better preserved section. This is actually a large Victorian hotel building behind the castle ruins, now, unfortunately, also in disrepair. We moored in the small marina, and had a day to explore the town, visit the funicular railway, and see the large University. Lots of walking, but a great day.

We then set off in the rain to Pwllheli. It rained all the way, and the seas were much rougher early on. However, as  we got further towards the Lleyn peninsula, the seas moderated and we had a comfortable trip. The canopy over the flybridge made the day much better as well. Moored in Pwllheli, and Steve set off for his home. I got provisions, and did more boat maintenance, which is a necessary and constant process. There were two days of monsoon-like rains, which have been noticeably absent this spring. I found a few new places that water can enter the boat, and worked to deal with them. Next will be the major trek through Bardsey Sound: one of the more notorious places in coastal Britain for fierce conditions. If anything like Ramsey Sound (at St. David’s Head), all will be well, as that was a non-event in terms of nasty conditions. Aiming for slack tides is critical!

About Ed Mortimer

I'm a retired school teacher, now living on my narrowboat in Britain. I'm touring as much of the canal and river system as I can. This blog describes what I do and where I've been
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