Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Skerries

The Skerries is somewhere I've managed to not get round to visiting, I've looked out to it from various places around Anglesey but for some reason I've gone elsewhere.  In Early March Myself and Bill decided to head over, with spring tides and only a few weeks to the spring equinox we were going to be facing some strong currents so we'd planned the route to make as much use of the tides as possible.

We headed out from Cemlyn Bay with THV Patricia at the mouth cleaning up the cardinal mark.

THV Patricia servicing the navigation mark off Harry Furloughs

Bill looking out of Cemlyn Bay

As we paddled out the tide was just starting to Ebb but the sea was smooth and glassy but with overfalls forming as the back eddy died away.  We headed due north letting the current pull us slowly westwards until we arrived just north of the Coal Rock cardinal mark sat on the deck of the Patricia.  At this point we turned and with our bows pointed at the north end of the Skerries set off with the building ebb.  A long lazy swell built with the tide as we made our way across to the island.

Bill with Carmel Head and North Stack in the background

It was only as we reached the Skerries that the full force of even the early stages of the tide made themselves known with chop and boils building as the swell and the tide combined surging between the gaps between the islands.  The tide jetted us through the swirly water to deposit us by the landing site for the lighthouse.

There has been a light on the islands since 1716 with a brazier on the top of a tower, however it didn't take it's current form until it was bought by Trinity House in 1836.  We took the opportunity to explore the island and the lighthouse as we arrived before the birds had settled in for the year.  Walking around we could hear the seals singing on the far side of the island.

Some ugly bugger by a lighthouse

We finished lunch in time for the flow to have built to it's peak as we set out for a determined ferry glide across the flow to return to the mainland, much further away now that the tide was fairly roaring past the island.

Looking back along the north coast.

Looking across to North Stack

The crossing back was as tiring as we expected keeping our noses up to avoid losing too much ground and allowing us to drop neatly into Church bay.  The eddy in the middle of the channel gave us a helpful upstream boost as can be seen from the track Bill kept.

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