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Pembrokeshire - July 2017

Updated: 05-07-2018

Report from Stephen Worner and Lis Jones aboard "Otter" (Jeanneau 379)

(Photos Steve Worner and Lis Jones)

Due to various personal circumstances we were one crew member down and two more would be joining later. Steve, Nigel and Ruth met up at Neyland and settled in before a car ride to the Lawrenny Arms for an excellent meal at a Hostelry belonging to family of one of my friends. This was pre-booked and gave us a chance to look at the moorings (see Saturday for the reasoning)

Lawrenny Arms Lawrenny Arms

Saturday - The small crew left early and picked up a mooring at Lawrenny before joining a huge crowd of Welsh Rugby supporters at the pub for a breakfast and to watch the British & Irish Lions draw the match against the All Blacks and tie the series – a moral series victory even if the records show it as a draw! The language was colourful – to say the least! We then investigated the Milford Haven Estuary before returning to pick up Lis from the marina who was to provide the local knowledge and vouch for us Anglos.

Sunday - Neyland to Tenby Waited for the drizzle to ease then we left for Tenby.

Qatar SWM buoy Qatar - did we really sail that far?

Out through Milford Haven to the sea! Passing oil tankers and an Irish Ferry on the way out. Turned left Although very little wind was forecast we found some and became a sailing boat for a while. As per tradition pasties (from Fowey courtesy of Mr Worner) were duly consumed en route. We decided to take the inside passage and leave Caldey Island to starboard. With the aid of a preventer on the boom we goose-winged through Caldey Sound. After Caldey Sound we passed through Bog Hole which was appropriately named judging by the way the water was flushing through. We then sailed past Tenby's North Beach and colourful hotels, rounded St Catherine's Island, dropped the sails and anchored outside the harbour. Nibbles and refreshments were then the order of the day for the next few hours enjoying the lovely view of Tenby. Rude not to. Fine fare - corned beef hash was served up by Ruth on board followed by cheese and biscuits.

Caroline's favourite jellyfish Caroline's favourite jellyfish

Monday - Tenby to Neyland Up early and lifted the anchor to make most of the fair ride back to Milford Haven. We whizzed through Caldey Sound and when clear of the sound we put the sails up and set a course to clear Stackpool Quay headland. On our way to Stackpole we were visited by a range safety boat 'Smit Penally' who asked us to change to a more southerly course because the firing range was due to be active and we would be traversing the range. We duly changed course and enjoyed the company of dolphins for a good part of the journey.

Off Tenby Off Tenby

After one tack we were on course for the entrance to Milford Haven. We avoided the returning Irish Ferries boat and then did some unexpected hat overboard practice. The hat was retrieved and following this we moored up on the visitor's pontoon in Dale for lunch and some well earned rest and relaxation. We then motored up the river back to Neyland Marina in time for a freshen up and the arrival of Mrs O.

Tuesday - Rain all day so a shore based day. Cooked breakfast Group trip to Dale for lunch. Visited St Anne's head. Saw the lighthouse but poor visibility.

Stealth Mode Royal Navy - Stealth mode
Royal Marines - (men in black) busy in the haven in stealth mode.

Wednesday - Neyland to Goultrop roads. An early start to catch the tide. Down river to the open sea. We put the sails up just after the fuel terminal. After St Anne's Head a course of 300 deg was the command from the skipper which took us through Broad Sound between Skolkholm and Skomer. We made good progress and hit a max 10 kn at one point. We saw some puffins and razorbills on passage. After rounding Skomer and after seeing the Irish Ferry coming back from Rosslaire . We then did our only tack of the day which took us across St Brides Bay. Caroline was on dolphin watch and saw one at 7 0'clock. Unfortunately the dolphin didn't want to come and play. After crossing St Brides we anchored off the north end of Newgale beach. After lunch in the cockpit we then partook in some rest and relaxation whilst listening to the waves hitting the shore.

Stack Rocks Stack Rocks
We then lifted the anchor and had a downwind run across to Broad Haven - jibing once on the way. We saw a lot of very large jellyfish. We anchored off Broad Haven and 3 of the crew surfed ashore in the dinghy to get essential supplies. On returning with the said supplies we then motored over to Goultrop roads and found a very pleasant anchorage for the night after mistaking a big seal for a mooring buoy. We then enjoyed fine fare aboard provided by Caroline and enjoyed a glorious sunset which lasted a very long time.

Pembrokeshire sunset Pembrokeshire sunset

Thursday - Goultrop roads - Lawrenny Quay Not enough wind to sail today so we motored to Skomer and passed inside Stack Rocks. We saw another dolphin on the way. We picked up a visitor's mooring and spent a couple of hours watching the puffins, guillemots and razorbills. We also saw the Irish Ferry returning again!! The next adventure ahead of us was Jack Sound - between the mainland and Skomer. The best time to go through Jack sound is 2.30 hours after HW Milford Haven which is exactly what we did. Failing this you would be faced with 6-7knots and turbulence to battle against. After a successful passage through Jack Sound we headed for St Anne's Head and the beginning of the estuary.

Dale pontoon Dale pontoon
We then stopped on the visitors pontoon Dale for lunch and again a trip to shore in the dinghy was in order-this time for ice creams!!! We then navigated up river and picked up a mooring at Lawrenny. A nice meal was had at the Lawrenny Arms.

Friday - Friday saw a leisurely start and return to the Marina as we didn’t want to take the long trek back down through Milford to reach the sea.

All in all a great week & one we will repeat – why did we wait so long? Probably due to a lack of charter boats until recently!