The Wild Atlantic!
Kasara Team SW’s AB 21 leg 2 adventures begin at Plymouth & end in Conwy. 376 miles out in to “The Wild Atlantic” taking in the Scillies, Pembrokeshire, Skomer & the notorious Jack Sound, Cardigan Bay, Caernafon Bar & “The perilous Swellies”.
Ken & Paul joined Kasara in Plymouth to help “catch up”. A night in Helford where we met an old friend - my last boat Bambella - still looking lovely & cared for.
Followed by a Mizzly motor sail to Newlyn where we were to be “back on track” and joined by Jonathan - We couldn’t even see the Lizard less than a half mile away.
Then out into Atlantic Proper!
Weather report: Lizard in fog followed by a similar arrival past an invisible Lands End into St Mary’s via Crow Sound turned out to be our only two dodgy days. For the main part Team SW were accompanied by glorious sunshine and on occasions (when not on the nose) sailing breezes. The seas were generally calm, winds light, viz good. It seems the weather gods are looking upon us favourably.
Scilly as ever is a delight, once the fog had lifted our walk around Star Castle & crab lunch at Juliets Garden were a forerunner to our next overnight in Old Grimsby - a “picture postcard setting” surrounded by the golden beaches of Tresco & St Martins
Lured ashore on kayaks & dinghy we visited the magnificent Tresco Abbey gardens In full bloom.
Sailing Highlights: (or motor sailing highlights) included our 120 mile day/night time passage to Milford Haven. Dolphins kept us company for six hours - sunset & sunrise in equal measure.
Best Landfall: whilst Scilly will always take the biscuit - we have been truly spoiled - chance conversations have led to Idylic anchorages including a remote cove off Broad Haven in St Brides bay, a protected corner of Fishguard Harbour, and a club buoy off Abersoch.
Marinas - only 2 on route - Neyland on a Sunday - lovely setting but don’t arrive in South Wales on Sunday - it’s closed! So is Monday come to that. Caernarfon is very friendly with Victoria dock only a stones throw from the castle walls - a delightful couple of days on land.
Eating Out: Team SW‘ prize goes to the Lawrenny Arms at the top of the Cleddau River in Milford Haven - a tip off from Lawrence back in Hamble - where we enjoyed local Lamb Cawl (stew/hotpot) in a gorgeous setting.
Eating in: there were of course many highlights including Ken’s fish night and once again Captains surprise but the highlight had to be the Fray Bentos steak & Kidney pie night washed down with Malbec (lucky Ken had absconded with Linda by this stage) 😂
Animal Watch: Dolphins of course, but also seals, including a rare sighting in Milford Haven Sound, then the bird life of Skomer. We spent an hour in the evening sunshine in North Haven just taking in the fascinating comings and going’s of all banner of nesting birds - the noise was extreme, the deck was in peril of you know what, but the sheer delight of seeing all those comical puffins zooming in & out takes some beating.
Cultural highlights: Paul managed to blag his way in to Caernafon Castle despite its strict COVID protocol - we all had a look at the brochure!
Most hilarious moment: Wales being “closed“ led to an unknowingly unattainable quest for an eat out venue near Neyland culminating in a drink at “The Legionnaires” (no food) but an insite into backstreet Welsh boozers - places one wouldn’t normally go to 😂
Lots of opportunity to learn new skills -?
the team took to the challenge and hopefully have added to their knowledge along the way.
Extra Curricula: “the bikes came out to play” a useful addition to the toy cupboard, they allowed Paul & I to take an early look at the Swellies before taking the plunge.
Biggest challenge: Well this has to be the Swellies of course. The Best the Menai can throw at you - get it right and your laughing - get it wrong and Davy jones’ locker…take a short look at our passage through…
In Summary: Wow lucky weather, great company, amazing places & sites, night sailing with Dolphins, & a few challenges. What fun!
Now safely tucked up for 3 nights in Conwy - just 3 boats away from my father in -laws old boat “Wizard of Windermere” (2nd real boat coincidence)
Looking forward to having Jan back on board and being joined for Kasara Celtic Team (Tim & Karen) for Leg 3 of AB21