Passage 35, Fishguard to Milford Haven
Up at 6:30am to give myself plenty of time to prepare for the passage and stash the dingy away for a 9am departure. I needed to get to St David’s head by 2:30pm in order to catch the tides through Ramsey and Jack sounds and onward into Milford Haven. As I was leaving Fishguard bay I was escorted by two quite large dolphins. Very kind. Mike, the harbour master at Aberystwyth advised leaving 3 hours to get to the head from Fishguard as, by necessity, one has to sail against the tide. I cautiously allowed 5.5 hours as the wind wasn’t great either. Just as well. As I rounded Strumble head, the tide against was so bad I was only doing 1 knot for a bit and 2 knots for most of that bit! I had 4 knots of tide against! The frustration in feeling the boat move fast through the water yet only go 1 knot is equal and opposite to the elation of going 10 knots with the tide!
Anyway, with the aid of the motor and by hugging the coast to get some contra-flow I made it round to arrive at Ramsey Sound bang on schedule at 2:30pm. Phew. Ramsey sound was a pussy cat as the tide was slack. Jack was a little more lively but I could avoid the worst of the overfalls. The wind was light and the sun was out so I wafted silently and gently across St Brides Bay and round past St Ann’s Head into Milford Haven.
At first I moored on a floating pontoon in the middle of Dale bay but it was noisy and uncomfortable so pottered out a couple of hundred yards and anchored. It was a lovely evening and Dale bay is a very picturesque setting. No complaints.
Still damp in my front cabin though. What can it be? Drips are coming from the ceiling but from nowhere. Must be condensation and perhaps I need to keep the cabin aired on passage. Hmmm. Gotta sort this one out.
Just managed to sail more than motor on this 39 mile passage around St David’s head. Once at the head the wind was light but on my beam and I had sunny, warm sail from there on in. Arrived in Dale bay at 6:15 - just over a 9 hours passage.