Fishguard and South

Saturday 30th July, we were up and on our way by 7am to catch the tide to Fishguard, 40 miles away. Fishguard has a big commercial harbour, from where a ferry to Roscoff departs, and another smaller harbour, Lower Harbour, which is really pretty, set in a little cove, with a traditional stone harbour wall. There is no real protection from the wind and swell and after motoring round the possible anchorages to find the best spot for a quiet night, we dropped anchor as close in to Lower Harbour as we could. A beautiful sunny, hot afternoon, first thing was to cool off in the sea.
There was bunting and tents on the harbour and it transpired that there was an RNLI fund-raiser in progress, we took the dingy ashore and had a tour of the life-boat, a chat with some of the heroic crew, and picked the brains of the coxswain about Ramsey and Jack Sounds. The tour was both reassuring, and terrifying! It's great to know it's there should you need it, but sends a shiver down the spine to consider the circumstances.

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The closest we hope ever to be to one of these!

Our anchorage was a bit roly poly, and little sleep was had. The thought of Ramsey and Jack Sounds the next morning probably didn't help. We were up before 5am to ensure we arrived at Ramsey Sound for slack tide at 0800. On the coxwain's advice we tucked in close to Strumble Head where there's an eddy, strangely close to the lighthouse.
This part of the Pembrokeshire Coast is where we walked last October, for three days we climbed up and down along the Coastal Path; fantastic, it's nice to see it from the water, and much less effort.
Ramsey Sound was tranquil, the Bitches were calm, as was Jack's Sound....and we didn't need to go near the Wild Goose Race, it's all about the timing and thankfully we got it right.

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Strumble Head lighthouse

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The Bitches Reef; wouldn't want to be blown onto it

We sailed into Milford Haven, one or two huge oil-tankers and a lot of evidence of the oil industry, but there's lots of room for everyone, the chart looks very busy and complicated for this area. Once inside we sailed gently up to Neyland Marina, we have been so preoccupied with our plans to get here, we have no idea of what we'll do while we're here! First things first, a snooze.
3pm, an hour of deep sleep and feeling slugged, but Monday's forecast was for rain, all day, so we need to get out and explore. A beautiful, sunny afternoon, we cycled to Freshwater East for a swim, nine miles and >1,000 feet of ascent each way. A sunny Sunday in the school holidays, the beach had been very busy with families, but as we arrived at 5pm lots were leaving. We swam and sat in the evening sun, and reminisced about beach holidays with our boys when they were little, the digging, building dams, endless simple fun and family time. It was lovely, the beach gorgeous, but felt strange being there on our own.


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