Sunday, 30 June 2013

Weekend Wildcat trips, right call? wrong call? you cant always get what you want...


So, we offered another date for a Wildcat trip with Nick o'Sullivan last week on top of our scheduled Sunday trip, which could have meant we would have had Sat and Sun on the Wildcat. 
The weeks forecasts fluctuated from good to bad with rain wind and fog ...On Thursday it looked like the weekend was a going to be anightmare of wind and rain , we had already cancelled Sunday which looked worst and for which several people were travelling long distances to get here,
so thereby hopefully saving them a wasted journey... we thought...

The additional lkast minute Saturday trip was mainly local people and the forecast though not encouraging when viewed on Thursday was not quite as bad as Sunday. On Friday we were at Strumble, the wind was blowing from the west and the sea was a mess. I so nearly cancelled Saturdays trip as it seemed  if we did get out, we would be lucky to get half a trip in reasonable conditions. But one way and another it was likely that we could only contact half the people, so we decided to give it a go on the proviso that if the weather was bad we would go out and if we had to, return and refund  people their money.

So I awoke to almost no wind on Saturday  morning, picked up Hannah and our cloggie friends Ernst and Nikki, drove to Neyland and no wind there when we arrived.  After tea, coffee and bacon sarnies in the marina cafe, we went out of the haven and apart from somelight breeze and  tidal chop we cruised out  further and further and found our way flat and clear to the "Smalls Llighthouse" twenty odd miles  of the coast!

We just went  going on. We had great views of the puffins and other sea birds as well as porpoise off Skomer and then went out to sample the eerieness of the Smalls. Having got there  everyone went quiet, getting a dose of the spookiness of the lighthouse with its posse of grey seals bobbing in the choppy waters surrounding the rock.  We then cut across the tide rip over the Smalls reef with hundreds of feeding shearwaters and other feeding seabirds and headed out to the Celtic Deep .

We saw seals and all sorts of birds including a Bonxie / Great Skua, but despite getting out there we still were not connecting with dolphins and it was beginning to get a bit less comfy with a long breaking sea. developing  We headed back  homewards towards the incredible island of Grassholm where 40+ thousand pairs of gannets made thier most southerly stronghold. As we headed back in towards Grassholm  , a dolphin breached about three hundred yards away. Thankfully it and three others came in to bowride the Celtic Wildcat and everyone got a short but close view. As it happened it was the only view of dolphins we were to get but we did stop off at Skokholmn and get pleny more puffins and some great views of more grey seals.

So Weather Clowns wrong  again! and probably we could have gone out today , although according to the XC forecast which I most trust, windspeeds could top  20 mph later on.
So, sorry to those of you who may have missed out, but we  really had useless weather stuff to go on and as the brilliant and wonderful Rolling Stones said in Glastonbury...(see above!) 

Ps. 20+ miles per hour wind currently looks like it was the right call!