DAY 6 – Monday 25 April 2022 – Milford Marina (Milford Haven) to Jenny’s Cove (Lundy Island)

Miles logged: 40
Total miles logged: 226
Days since leaving Fleetwood: 6
Days at sea: 5

The original plan was a passage from Milford Haven to Padstow. Padstow is the only harbour on the north Cornish coast suitable for fin-keeled yachts such as ours which cannot take the ground. From Padstow, it will be a passage around Land’s End. Milford to Padstow is a long run of over 70 miles and the tide-times at the moment are not favourable; a direct passage would mean arriving at Padstow in the dark.

Farewell to Wales. Our last view of the Welsh coast

So we decided to break the journey by stopping for the night at Lundy Island. This meant a comfortable 0930 lock-out from Milford with the whole leg, including the arrival at Lundy, in daylight. Given the easterly wind we needed to anchor on the west coast of Lundy. There is just one suitable anchorage, Jenny’s Cove, so we set a course for there, a leg of 40 miles. The forecast was good and for the entire leg we enjoyed bright sunshine.

After a relaxed breakfast we locked out at 0930 and entered the Haven, which again was busy with enormous ships at the various landing stages. I was leading and as we approached the mouth of the harbour a firing-range launch came up to Bubble to enquire of our intentions. I shouted over that we were bound for Lundy and we were then instructed to call Range Control on Channel 16 because our course would cross the exclusion zone around live firing. I made contact and, as is always the case, was dealt with extremely courteously by the Range Controller. We had planned a course of 150 degrees to Lundy but were instructed to sail on 175 degrees instead until the firing was complete. Although tiresome this was not too much of a problem given the wind direction at the time. After a couple of hours we were allowed to resume our chosen course and were glad to settle onto a fast fine reach towards Lundy.

Bubble powering across the Bristol Channel towards Lundy Island

We needed to reef at first with winds in excess of 15 kts but as the day wore on the wind decreased and we were able to make good progress under full sail in 12-14 kts. This was our first proper long sail of the trip and it was good to feel the boat surging along under wind-power after so much motoring.

Approaching Jenny’s Cove, our anchorage at Lundy. The anchor locker is open in anticipation

Lundy came into view when we were about 12 miles off and as we approached the wind speed gradually fell away to around 7 kts. It was a glorious sunny day though and the island, with its continuous rugged cliffs, looked magnificent. Coming closer, we were concerned that we could not identify the anchorage, Jenny’s Cove. Trusting our chartplotters we motored on and when almost at the rock-face it became clear that the Cove is really just a shallow indentation in the cliffs. There is no sandy beach. I anchored close to the cliffs in 7m and Mike chose a spot a little further out. It took two attempts to get a good hold after the first dragged and I winched up a pile of kelp.

Once settled we could appreciate the beauty and majesty of our surroundings. The Cove is surrounded by colossal vertical cliffs, the sea is crystal-clear and there are literally thousands of sea-birds, including countless puffins. The air is filled with their calls. A seal came up to inspect Bubble and several were seen basking around the base of the cliffs. Mike and I were the only people for many miles and it was a truly awe-inspiring spot to spend the evening and then the night. 

Our spot for the night at Lundy. The air was full of the sound of thousands of sea-birds. Perfectly clear water

Having visited Lundy as a child, on a day-trip some 45 years ago, it was a very special experience for me to come again, this time in my own yacht. Lundy is by a long chalk the highlight of the trip thus far … but we are not yet a week in. Who knows what delights lie ahead?

Interestingly, once darkness fell the thousands of sea-birds fell virtually silent. I snuggled down in my cosy cabin with the portlight open and drifted off to the sound of the sea lapping against the hull, the breeze around the cliffs and the odd call of a puffin or gull.

There is a video of the approach to Lundy and of the scene at the anchorage at the YouTube channel.

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