August 2017 Adventures – Part 2

Fiona and Peter joined me for two days of kayaking in the third week of August.

17 August – Porth Eilian to Amlwch

DSCF4999

DSCF5001

DSCF5010

DSCF5013

DSCF5019

DSCF5023

DSCF5032

DSCF5034

August 18 – Menai Bridge to Plas Newydd

DSCF5046

DSCF5055

DSCF5064

DSCF5065

DSCF5072

DSCF5103

DSCF5119

DSCF5143

19-20 August – Sandra and Kean celebrate Kean’s birthday!

19 August – Menai Bridge

DSCF5148

DSCF5155

DSCF5164

DSCF5181

20 August – Rhoscolyn

DSCF5204

DSCF5210

DSCF5213

DSCF5217

DSCF5229

DSCF5236

DSCF5248

DSCF5251

DSCF5266

DSCF5283

 

 

Advertisements

August 2017 Adventures – Part 1

Peter Holshke, from Hamburg, joined me for three days of sea kayaking in the first week of August.

6 August – Menai Bridge to Indefatigable and back.

Menai Straits - Swellies

DSCF4510

DSCF4522
DSCF4529

DSCF4530

7 August – The Stacks, Soldiers Point to Porthdafarch

Stacks

DSCF4548

DSCF4555

DSCF4550

DSCF4543

DSCF4568

DSCF4576

DSCF4577

DSCF4581

DSCF4606
DSCF4607

DSCF4609

DSCF4652

DSCF4644

DSCF4646

9 August – Rhoscolyn

Rhoscolyn

DSCF4668

DSCF4678

DSCF4706

DSCF4720

DSCF4745

DSCF4759

DSCF4768

DSCF4781

DSCF4784

DSCF4789

DSCF4816

Thanks Peter!

13 August – Giovanni, Lorenzo, Paul, Ed and Geth Stacks trip

DSCF4820

DSCF4821

DSCF4837

DSCF4835

DSCF4856

DSCF4883

DSCF4867

DSCF4895

DSCF4910

DSCF4936

DSCF4945

DSCF4962

DSCF4989

DSCF4998

Thanks Giovanni, Lorenzo, Paul and Ed!

Underwater Penrhyn Mawr and Rhoscolyn Head

Anglesey_2008_022 Image Provided by SBS RIB Charter

Anglesey is also a very good location for scuba diving.  Not surprisingly, there is a vast number of wrecks to explore, especially at popular sea kayaking venues.  The Penrhyn Mawr area has claimed a number of wrecks including: the 450 ton World War 2 steamer “Kyle Firth” en route from Trefor, Llŷn Peninsula to Liverpool (carrying a cargo of stone chippings) and the “Editor”, a steel-steam ship wrecked on the Penrhyn Mawr “Fangs”.  Our first dive was on the “Kyle Firth”.

11703155_10155747603230234_7522531392238500376_n

Aubrey Diggle’s new interceptor rib.

11745583_10155747603480234_8946825789914652041_n

11745436_10155747603510234_7695934625135956341_n

Spider crab near Penrhyn Mawr.

11701149_10155747603190234_7210301325209400684_n

Lobster.

11752560_10155747603125234_178084065059533488_n

11796335_10155747603045234_746072033217549745_n

All other Images provided by Dennis Adams.

For more information on Anglesey Diving contact our friends at Anglesey Divers and/or Aubrey Diggle for RIB charter.  Anglesey Divers specialise in teaching all levels of the PADI diving scheme to in addition to providing general support/guiding for more experienced divers.

11 April 2015, A Tea Clipper, an Airforce Base, an Iron Age Discovery and a Lady Smuggler

Rhoscolyn to Four Mile Bridge via a Tea Clipper, an Airforce Base, an Iron Age Discovery and a Lady Smuggler

.

On this morning the wind was blowing with some enthusiasm from the North West.  We decided to check out the conditions at Borth Wen, Rhoscolyn, with a view to enjoying the coastline either to the West or East.  The sea beyond the bay was lively with white caps due to the antagonistic action of the wind on the flooding tide.  We soon decided on an eastwards downwind run to the Cymyran Straits, as this would provide for some nice surfing opportunities and, hopefully, result in an interesting journey.

.

.

.

.

As you approach Cymyran Bay it is worth knowing that the area around this Bay and the straits can become particularly treacherous in the right conditions.  These “right” conditions manifest themselves when the Cymyran Straits is ebbing into a strong opposing wind.  The surf can become huge and respite from this surf, in the lee of the bay’s islets, can be very difficult to maintain due to the strong current sweeping the area.  Many vessels have become wrecked in Cymyran Bay, the most famous of which is the “Norman Court”, which ran aground in 1883.  This magnificent ship was a tea clipper, of similar design to the “Cutty Sark”.  It could sail at great speed, up to 16 knots, and was ideally suited to carrying seasonal products like tea.  The first imported teas of a season commanded the greatest prices and inspired the well publicised and popular Great Tea Race events of the 1860’s and 1870’s.

.

.

.

Guarding the head of Cymyran Bay is RAF Valley.  This busy airbase was constructed on a vast area of sand dunes during the Second World War.  The sand posed a challenge to the engineers as it could impede the operation of aircraft.  The solution was to stabilise the sand by covering it with peaty material from neighbouring farm land.  One such farm, “Yr Ynys”, was tenanted by my grandparents.  It included an area of wetland where the livestock could graze in the summertime.  The wetland’s centrepiece was a lake that was covered by a vegetated floating mat, of horse tail, that bounced underfoot.  The engineers dredged this lake, for peat material, inadvertently revealing 150 impressive bronze and iron votive offerings, gifts to the gods or goddesses.  This is the famous Iron Age Llyn Cerrig Bach hoard – a source of much pride to the Roberts family.

.

.

.

.

Moving up the Cymyran Straits it is easy to picture the story of Einir Wyn or Madam Wen and her smuggling ship.  According to local legend and immortalised in W.D. Owen’s novel “Madam Wen”, Einir Wyn was a wealthy aristocrat whose family lost their wealth to the Roundheads during the Civil War.  To regain her fortune Einir Wyn turned to smuggling and highway robbery.  The stronghold of Madam Wen’s gang was the wetland area, including Llyn Cerrig Bach.  Madam Wen’s struggle to evade the attention of the authorities and regain her family’s former glory has inspired generations of Welsh readers.

.

The enthusiastic wind had now subsided and backed to become a southerly breeze gently pushing us towards our destination – Four Mile Bridge.

Paddling today were:  Dave, Kathy, Paul, Rich, Rachael, Ed and Geth

4 April 2015, Rhoscolyn – a sea farers paradise?

.

Ynys Traws guarding the entrance to Borthwen, Rhoscolyn

On beautiful summery days Rhoscolyn is indeed a seafarers paradise.  It is one of the finest geological locations for the study of three-dimensional fold geometries. It also harbours a wealth of marine Biodiversity sustained by the clean waters of the Irish Sea.  These clean waters are the product of the strong tidal streams flowing, twice daily, to and from the North Atlantic.  Rhoscolyn is highly exposed to these tidal currents which often provide seafarers with additional energy to propel their vessels on coastal journeys.

.

.

.

Rockhopping through the impressive Geology of Rhoscolyn

Rhoscolyn is also renowned for it’s rock climbing.  The climbing route known as “Icarus” (HVS, 5a) is the most popular route on the wall at Porth Gwalch.

.

Porth Gwalch Wall.  The route “Icarus” is the most red coloured corner on the right

.

Climbers silhouetted above the cliff

.

Rhoscolyn Head’s cave

.

Rounding Rhoscolyn Head

.

Narrow inlet between Rhoscolyn Head and Porth Saint

.

.

Bwa Gwyn, White Arch

.

Bwa Du, Black Arch

.

Phil Clegg of Sea Kayaking Anglesey near Porth Y Garan

.

Sea Kayaking Anglesey clients rockhopping

.

Using the tidal stream to return efficiently to Rhoscolyn

.

Sheffield Canoe Club at Rhoscolyn Beacon, Ynysoedd Gwylanod

.

Spot the seals at Rhoscolyn Beacon, Ynysoedd Gwylanod

.

Grey Seals, Halichoerus grypus, at Rhoscolyn Beacon, Ynysoedd Gwylanod

.

Cymyran Bay with the Lleyn Peninsula mountains on the horizon

.

.

Returning to Borthwen

In poor weather the Rhoscolyn area can quickly turn treacherous, often due to the action of the wind on the strong tidal stream.  There are a great many examples of seafarers getting into difficulties in these waters. Early in the twentieth century a particularly tragic incident occurred. In December 1920 the “Timbo” steamship got into difficulties on its passage from Liverpool to Ireland.  Following a period  sheltering gales in Holyhead harbour, the “Timbo” resumed it’s journey westward.

On passing South Stack, it was again struck by westerly gales, which pushed the steamship shorewards. The “Timbo” soon drifted past Rhoscolyn Beacon, whereupon thirteen men in Rhoscolyn’s lifeboat launched and fought for three hours to intercept the steamship.  On the fifth attempt a rope was successfully thrown from the lifeboat and attached to the “Timbo”. This success was shortlived and the line was broken. Recognising that the rescue attempt was now turning into a fight for survival, the lifeboat was turned to shore, adjacent to Llanddwyn Island, in a bid to escape the chaos of the sea. Soon after turning a huge wave capsized the lifeboat, throwing the crew into the sea.  Five of the Rhoscolyn men lost their lives.

Meanwhile, on the “Timbo” five of the crew of eight abandoned ship in their own lifeboat. This small lifeboat also capsized, resulting in the death of four of its crew.  The “Timbo” made landfall at Dinas Dinlle beach, sustaining remarkably little damage. It was even eventually refloated and returned to service for a while before becoming shipwrecked on Carreg y Trai reef. near Abersoch. This time all of the crew escaped unharmed.

Rhoscolyn Lifeboat Station was disbanded in 1929. Today the local seas are guarded by the National Coastwatch Institute from the old Coastguard lookout. Trearddur Bay Lifeboat is now the closest RNLI base. They are both local reminders that the seas around Rhoscolyn can quickly change from being a “sea farers paradise” into a very challenging environment.

Paddling today were: Richard, Paul and Geth.