Thursday, 20 July 2017

Starting Homewards ...

After a very pleasant holiday harbour-caravanning in Watchet, I'm on my way north again.

I fought the last hour of the flood tide on Tuesday afternoon before the ebb helped me across to Rhossili Bay in Wales, which gave shelter from the easterly breeze. I crossed the Hellwick sands without any problem - one chart warns that these move around, and that soundings may not be reliable, but there was little sea running and I thought between the echo sounder and keeping my eyes open I should be OK.

In the morning, the wind had shifted (as expected) and I took the last of the early tide across to Tenby. I took a bit of a detour to get out of the Pendine Range area, after hearing an incomprehensible exchange between Range Control and Milford Haven Coastguard. I tried calling Range Control without success, and then MHCG called me to say that the range was in use and that they would get Range Control to call me, which they did. MHCG also suggested calling Triton, the range patrol vessel, but I got no reply from them. This was all a bit puzzling - I would have thought Range Control would have made a point of having good VHF communications with anyone in their vicinity.

There are a few firing ranges along this coast, and the chart says you can cross them at any time but to watch out for signals - such as red flags (!) - that they are in use. Maybe the risks are small ...

The visitors mooring at Tenby was fairly bouncy, from the earlier east wind, but I waited out the flood and had a run ashore before taking the afternoon ebb further West to Dale. The wind was a solid four or so from the West (maybe five on occasion), so I was motoring. There were some uncomfortable wind-over-tide conditions off headlands, but only for half an hour or so at a time.

And now I'm in Dale, where I will stay until Friday afternoon when the weather will be less breezy and the tide will take me round St. David's head - possibly to Fishguard.

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