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16 Days adrift

by BruceK » 05 Sep 2017, 15:20

Arriving in Ba-laaaa-more-y I mean Aberdwfi and crashing down through it's infamous bar with all the aplomb of a hippo doing a swanny we entered the estuary where we were greeted like we were the QE II by the harbour authority. We even got our own pilot escort. I dont think these guys get much in the way in visiting leisure cruiser boats being inundated with speedboats and jetski's and we were welcomed in every way possible bar sending out their unmarried daughters. We were here last year for their annual festival and and it was so good we thought we'd pop in for the bank holiday weekend to do it all again before moving on.



Settling in for the night

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BruceK
 
Posts: 525
Joined: 02 Nov 2015, 17:47

by BruceK » 05 Sep 2017, 15:30

The following day we went exploring the Borth side of the estuary and found a HW island. We immediatedly named it Aaarggghh Island, a sort of pirate possessive and planted the NWCC flag in to stake our claim.

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A lazy couple of days ensued where I promptly did nothing while the serving wench slaved about her business. I hardly even grumbled at the kids and the dog didn't try to bite me

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BruceK
 
Posts: 525
Joined: 02 Nov 2015, 17:47

by BruceK » 05 Sep 2017, 15:44

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While I was in Pwllheli a mate of mine called. He's a marina queen and needs toughening up.
How's the weather? he says.
Fkin magic Boet, I say. You should come down.
How's the sea?
Mill pond bud. Like glass.
I'll come down tomorrow. Where you going?
Aberdwfi?
Do they have shore power?
Loads of it mate, dont worry.
Ok see you.



nnggggg nnnggggg nggggg snigger :D

two days later..... :shock: :o he arrives

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Didn't say hello or nuthin the uncivil bastard.

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BruceK
 
Posts: 525
Joined: 02 Nov 2015, 17:47

by BruceK » 05 Sep 2017, 15:56

The next day I took him and his wife out to lunch and after a few beers I think he loosened up. No shore power where he is though, no shore power at all to be frank, unless of course you are on the shore. But that didn't stop him keeping the fridges from running for the next 5 days. Oh no, but that's another story to be told later.

That night there was the fire work display and they didn't hold back for a small little village in the back end of nowhere. They want all the Brommies to visit and shed their bucks because winter is hard.

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When they were finished, Borth on the otherside of the estuary staked their claim to the Brommies with their show, but ours was better.

A day more of beatiful skies and even the dog had forgotten Bardsey

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This is the life :D
BruceK
 
Posts: 525
Joined: 02 Nov 2015, 17:47

by BruceK » 05 Sep 2017, 16:25

Now Aberdwyfi estuary is notoriously exposed to westerlies and when two nights on the trot when the thunderstorms rolled in just on HW slack from the West, in the wee hours of the morning as the last of the drunks on the beach staggered to their BnB's, so too the rollers from Cardigan Bay. With no current to hold the boats steady they immediately went beam on to the wind and prevailing chop providing a ride that many adrenaline junkies pay good money to experience. Mr Marina Queen was less than impressed and his wife looked positively haggard the mornings afterwards. Especially as the fizz couldn't be opened for breakfast without losing half it's contents. You need a drogue mate, I opine, fresh as a daisey, bushy tailed and bright eyed as I hope to snaffle a second breakfast. We're going he says.

No he's not. Being a Marina Queen he's left his CB's on BOTH and not only taken 5 batteries down to 10V but cant even run a chartplotter, let alone start his engines.
Being kind I helped myself to more of his chilled beverages before they warmed up.

Can we charge em up? he asks.
No, they're fucked now, I opine, you'll need new ones, while helping myself to another cold beverage.
He's a tight bastard is our mate. The thought of having to fork out several hundreds on new batteries obviously shook him.
Perhaps I can charge two of them up for you as I grabbed a six pack. He looked relieved and didn't seem to notice when I made a grab for the last bacon butty.
Aberdwfi harbour was also willing to chip in, but not used to big boats they only had a diddy speedboat battery handy and we were still 2 short so Mr MQ took a walk for a couple miles to carry back two more starter packs from the local service garage while I drank a six pack and tried to revive two duffers to no avail.

Yer stuffed I shouted across when he returned exhausted from lugging batteries about. Not holding a float charge, I yell. You got 10 volts.
Take the starter packs back and buy new ones I yell while quickly downing the last beer before he could take it back.

And so our 4 days in Aberdwfi became six as I elected to stay and watch with amusement as an obviously gay assistant harbour master took more and more of a shine to our mate. Even gave him his berth at half price and the last couple free.
BruceK
 
Posts: 525
Joined: 02 Nov 2015, 17:47

by BruceK » 05 Sep 2017, 16:45

Small villages in the ass end of nowhere really pull together when there is an emergency. Free taxi's and help were made avaiable and shortly Mr MQ had 4 new batteries at a very respectable price (having forgone the windlass one as being superfluous to need) the following morning delivered right to the harbour slipway by another taxi. Wonderful. MQ had them in like shot and fled before the bar was even properly covered. I'll catch up with you at Bardsey I shout. I'm twice as fast as him so cruising in company is not an option. As it transpired I never did catch him up and the next I heard he was in Victoria Dock drowning his horrors with the last coins in his purse.

Not wishing to enter a marina more than once on this trip I elected to bunker water off the Quay and head out to Llandwyn island for a couple days

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But first I had to tackle Bardsey again. It's neaps now, should be easier right? Filled with confidence as I approached the sound I shouted the all clear with relief before hitting the chop a few moments later.



Sure enough the littany of We're gonna die soon broke out

BruceK
 
Posts: 525
Joined: 02 Nov 2015, 17:47

by BruceK » 05 Sep 2017, 16:50

Once through the Sound we had to tackle the Tripods

THE DOG REMEMBERS!!!





2.5 hours and 60 miles later we made Llandwyn island

tbc tomorrow.
BruceK
 
Posts: 525
Joined: 02 Nov 2015, 17:47

by BruceK » 06 Sep 2017, 08:00

That evening we arrived at Ynys Llanddwyn and threw the hook out short of the reef between Pilot and Mermaid Cove. It's a World Heritage site apparently with some really unique geological formations with pillow lavas and seams of Jasper and Rose quartz abundant.

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We decamped to the beach and set up the BBQ and fishing lines. It's a magical place and well worth a stop. We spent 2 days here with the kids finding playmates from another visiting yacht the next day was spent playing Capture The Flag, BBQing, swimming and canoeing. The fishing is excellent despite the abundance of seals and the boy very proudly took home a few maccies for the frier.

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BruceK
 
Posts: 525
Joined: 02 Nov 2015, 17:47

by BruceK » 06 Sep 2017, 08:27

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Llanwyn is exposed to southerlies so with a windshift looming we crossed Caernarfon bar back into Abermenai for the last two days of our trip and spent them doing short beach walks and BBQ's or loafing on the boat watching Netflix and getting fat on holiday food.

Every time the staffie touched shore he'd go mad with delight and keep up this behaviour for hours at a time




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On the final night we had winds of F6 gusting to F7 but swinging from North to South West. This is a rare combination that would put anchoring at potential risk with a leeward shore so with reluctance that evening at dusk we made for the gates of Victoria Dock and were very pleasantly surprised to find a venue had a wedding reception on the front with a Jazz Band playing. I spent the evening on the cockpit lounger sipping beaverages and getting mellow while the kids went off to find their new playmates who berth here permanently.

(turn sound up)



All good things come to an end and finish much like they start. The following morning in torrential rain and F7 winds the harbour master looked at me incredulously from his tower window as we sauntered through the gates at 8am heading for Conwy and the hell that is Conwy Bay. It was a blow alright. So strong once we were in the bay it unzipped the covers and madame was to be seen blinded by rain, spitting water and wildly trying to catch a 15 foot canvas flag while I shouted encouragement and pushed the throttles down even harder. I was dry, but it's little things like that that keep a woman sweet as with a cry of triumph she grabbed a loose end and was promptly pulled off her feet. I relented and slowed down. Not that it helped. Without power in those seas the boat will buck, roll and wallow like a rodeo bull but it made for a change of scenery :D No sooner had madame got the sides back on than I sent her up on deck to ready the fenders and lines. It's gonna be tough for me to bring her along the pontoons on this wind and rain I cried cheerfuly. Might take a few goes. Dont fking miss your throw!

I got a wet pout and dodged a slap as she stomped off onto deck. Scouse girls eh. Got fire in em.
BruceK
 
Posts: 525
Joined: 02 Nov 2015, 17:47

by lewlew100 » 06 Sep 2017, 09:23

Fantastic Bruce - you are a glutton for punishment - I just can't understand why you seemed to be alone out there!!! Lovely pics and vids, but makes me realize why I am a fairweather sailor. Geoff.
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