DAY 2 – Thursday 21 April 2022 – Pen-y-Parc to Aberdaron

Miles logged: 29
Total miles logged: 104
Days since leaving Fleetwood: 2
Days at sea: 2

We woke on the Pen-y-Parc anchorage to bright sunlight and a little more wind than on our arrival there. Happily the wind was easterly which was ideal for our next leg. Once again we intended to take on one of Wales’ notorious and potentially dangerous tidal gates, but in the benign conditions we didn’t expect anything too dramatic.

This was one of those rare mornings for yachtsmen; sun, blue sky, the right amount of wind and ideal sea-state, and we didn’t need to leave until 0900. After the 0200 start on Day 1 this was a great relief and I marked the occasion with a leisurely breakfast in the cockpit. 

The plan was to pass through Bardsey Sound – the narrow channel of turbulent water at the extremity of the Lleyn peninsula – which separates the Welsh mainland from Bardsey Island. Then we need to get to Ramsey Sound but that is too far for us to reach today, so we plan to anchor in Abadaron Bay, just after Bardsey Sound and then try to get to Ramsey the next day. Aberdaron is a wide sandy bay flanked by cliffs on the south-west end of the Lleyn peninsula.

Things were promising at first. We were able to set full sail for a dead run at about 4 kts which was comfortable, but not fast enough to get us to the Sound before the passage through it might become uncomfortable, difficult or dangerous. We sailed for under two hours before once again having to start our engines. The wind did pick up later and we sailed for a bit but by then we were short of time so after sailing for a while had to motor-sail. As we approached Bardsey the wind rose considerably, topping 20 kts, and approaching the Sound Bubble was making over 7 kts under genoa alone, with considerable assistance from the tide. The passage through the sound was bumpy but we had timed our trip well and arrived only a little after slack water, so we passed through quickly and found a pleasant, sheltered spot to anchor at the eastern end of Aberdaron Bay.

Entering the Menai Strait yesterday I caught a glimpse of a porpoise but today we had the wonderful experience of the company of a pod of wild dolphins in their natural habitat. Weary of yet more motoring, imagine our delight when our yachts were surrounded by these majestic creatures – lots of them – darting around our bows and playing and jumping alongside us for half an hour. I captured some video for the YouTube channel.

Dolphins around Pagets Lady

Another good day. Tomorrow we have an early start as we head for Ramsay Sound. We depart at 0400.

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