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Showing posts from June, 2018

Sailing By

It’s not unusual for me to wear five layers of clothing on the boat as we battle into the wind which always seems to be bang on Blue Nun’s nose so being on the water dressed only in - gasp! - shorts and a vest top is almost unheard of. We leave Neyland marina in glorious sunshine and head down Milford Haven to Longoar Bay where we pick up one of the two vacant visitors moorings. The seagrass beds here are a scarce and protected species, important for their role as fish ‘nurseries’ and in preventing coastal erosion, so anchoring is discouraged and today we have the bay to ourselves. It’s been a long time since we sailed in the Solent, but even then it was almost impossible to find a quiet mooring. In contrast there are no other yachts in sight; it’s just us and this stunning scenery.

After a peaceful night, we potter under sail back up the Haven and along the Cleddau river. It’s a busier afternoon and there are some interesting boats which have gathered for the 2018 Seafair Haven, but…

Getting the Party Started!

Bee hasn’t realised yet that a whole week of celebrations have been planned for her third birthday and she is touchingly appreciative of every small gesture to mark the occasion. Tom and I are in Cardiff to get the party started; on Saturday we play football and make pizzas together, on Sunday morning Bee bursts in to our bedroom, delighted to see that we haven’t disappeared in the night, and then with ten-week Iris fed, watered and bundled up (sweet little Iris has already resigned herself to going with the flow) we head off to Cefn Mably Farm Park.

Bee’s had more than her fair share of ear problems in her short life, and although her hearing is regularly monitored (and, my goodness, haven’t Lily and Russ had to fight to get this far) she has suffered a degree of hearing loss and experiences some distortion which makes the world a scary place at times. It breaks my heart when, at the farm, a cockerel lets rip in a covered, echoey space just as Bee is given a guinea pig to hold. The e…

Ebb and Flow

Tom’s reassured me that we can turn back at any point, but as we head out to sea for the first time in a couple of years, I take deep, calming breaths and try not to think about being sick. Goodness knows, I’ve coped with long passages of offshore sailing - albeit with my head in a bucket - but as we’ve spent the last few summers pleasantly pottering up and down Milford Haven it’s been a while since my stomach’s been put to the test of rolling waves.

We’re heading for Skokholm, a tiny island just off the Pembrokeshire coast, a Site of Special Scientific Interest which is a haven for seabirds. If all goes well, we’re planning to circumnavigate the island and negotiate the worryingly named Wild Goose Race tidal stream. So far, so good. It’s a glorious day and to crown it all I spot … ‘A puffin! A puffin!’. Actually, they’re dotting the waves everywhere we look; little splashes of colour with beaks full of sand eels to feed their chicks. But can I capture a photo of one? Nope, they must …