" 5. Swansea and West Wales ~ St Justinians "
Date & Time: Wednesday 15th May 2013
Locations : St Justinians Coast Walk
Places visited : St Justinians round to Treginnis Farm and back.
Accommodation : The Druidston Hotel, Druidston Haven, Pembrokeshire.
With : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Overcast but a lovely day in prospect. Breezy.
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
Yesterday's grey day gives way to fine weather as we walk the Coast Path south from St Justinians
around the headland opposite Ramsey Island and back via a shorter farm track back to the car.
The forecast is good to see Pembrokeshire at its best.
The clouds are higher and the sky brighter than yesterday
but the surf school at Newgale Sands are probably just as cold after their morning practice.
We drive through St Davids and out onto the headland at St Justinians.
The ruined walls in the garden are of an old church associated with the Saint who was Confessor and Spiritual father to St David
The pink house, so long a second home of someone living away, is now available to holiday let. It sleeps 16 . . . any takers?
In the harbour below is the elevated boat house of the St Davids Life Boat
The station is manned by local volunteers and is available 24 hours for emergency call-outs to people, boats or shipping in distress.
The station has recently taken delivery of a brand new, high speed Tamar Class boat
which has already seen service in several rescues. It is currently being moored out in the bay.
Plans are a-foot for the iconic boathouse . . .
My understanding, and don't hold me to it, is that a new, larger station and slipway is to be built on this side of the small bay
and the old building demolished, freeing up the slipway underneath which will be easier for local boats and their Inshore D Class boat to use.
[ Further rumour suggest it may be re-built and feature in the grounds of the Natural History Museum at St Fagans near Cardiff ]
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On with the walk . . .
We've headed south along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Mid-May after a cold spring means that many of the wonderful coastal flowers are still in full bloom.
Sea Pinks, or Thrift as it is better known, vie for place on the cliff's edge with the blue Squill.
Here they sit side-by-side with White Campion.
A tenacious hold on a fragile sea cliff . . . pink Thrift, white Campion and yellow Vetch.
There is a profusion of yellow gorse too
but it is still too early to be hit by that heady smell of coconut when the flower is in full bloom.
The master photographer pauses to compose that "special photo".
Hold your cursor over the picture to see how much Harry appreciated the wait !
Onward now and the sun has come out and brightened the scene.
Out of the wind it is getting really quite warm.
Down in Treginnis Bay the remains of an old davit and winch are still to be seen close to the tide line.
I can't imagine there would be many days when the sea would be quiet enough to load and unload a boat safely.
Zooming in on the view back to St Justinians . . . in the background the summit of Carn Llidi can be seen.
This is is one of many peaks of volcanic rock set in the Pembrokeshire sandstone headland.
The Sound of Ramsey narrows as we walk further on.
In the narrowest section there is a reef known as "The Bitches" which is a major hazard to shipping.
On a high spring tide the water can race through the sound at up to 12 knotts and cause a standing wave as it breaks over the reef.
Ann takes in the sun as she sits on one of her favourite walls of Pembrokeshire.
From here you can spend hours watching the sea if you have a mind too . . . there is always something going on.
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I discover since that this flat area and wall belong to an old copper mine . . .
"Treginnis Copper Mine, a small copper mine on cliff tops opposite Ramsey Island, 1000 yards south west of Treginnis Isaf farmhouse. Unsubstantiated reports of working circa 1820; worked intermittently up to 1883, abandoned after fatal accident." (click here for The Mines of Pembrokeshire site)
As mid-tide approaches the current gets stronger and the sea starts to be churned up by the reef.
Ann and I and our children stayed in that farmhouse over twenty years ago when they were offering bed-and breakfast deals for visitors.
The island is now owned by the RSPB and all accommodation is used for visiting members and work parties.
The warden at that time was Sue, sister to Jane, the lady who until last year ran Druidstone Hotel.
Down below our wall the sea is being churned up, rushing sideways, right to left at an appreciable rate.
Also walking right to left were these two guys.
Charlie, the chap in blue, is walking the entire Welsh Coast Path for Charity and we put a few coins in his collecting tin towards his good cause.
Check out his walk and maybe add to his fundraising total for Sheffield's St Lukes Hospice here
There were others about too . . . and the topic of conversation was the possibility of seeing porpoises out in the sound.
Big movements of water brings large potential for fish being carried through the sound and the porpoises are often seen out in mid-channel.
The view south . . . the sun is shining . . . we're in no rush . . . come on and take in the big picture.
The view down channel to Grassholm . . . tell me if you spot any porpoises.
Ynys Eilun . . . a mid-channel island at the foot of Ramsey.
A shout went out about them being spotted but I'm afraid there's no photo :o(
With the tide flowing fast past Ramsey, we leave the narrows and continue on around the headland.
The highest point of Ramsey is Carnllundain at 136m.
The island is famous for its bird life all year round . . . and the seals in September are also a great attraction.
More huge bushes of gorse as we walk to coastline.
They seem to be enjoying themselves.
If only the wind would ease back and the sea temperature increase significantly . . . this could even be Greece !
We look across to the rocks that lie off Porthlysgi Bay.
Across the way is our hotel, high on the cliff above Druidstone Haven.
We waited a while for the sun to shine on that part of the coast but it remained in shadow for a while longer.
Hold your cursor over the photo to identify the hotel more closely.
From the top of the headland . . . the view was superb.
By the time we left the coast path the weather was clouding over slightly.
We head inland . . . to cut back across the peninsular and shorten the distance back to the car.
One of the rare local birds of Ramsey is the Chough a red footed, red beaked member of the crow family.
The only one we saw was this one depicted here as a weather vane.
The farm in the centre of the peninsular is owned by a group which offers farm holidays for inner city children.
They seem to be enjoying their stay.
The farm has modern accommodation blending in well with the old buildings.
We leave the sheep and head downhill to the path we used on our outward walk.
A few more flowers and their attendant pollen spreaders . . . large daisies in the hedgerows.
Not forgetting the humble Dandelion.
Back at St Justinians Bay . . . the high speed rib boat is just landing another group of tourists who have been out on a trip in the sound.
After a great walk we return to the Druidstone.
The headland we had walked this afternoon is spread out in the distance . . . no need for subtitles this time.
As we relaxed and got ready for supper we enjoyed the view out to sea.
There are one or two new ships at anchor and a rain cloud passing across the bay . . . fortunately quite a long distance offshore.
As the evening progressed the weather that created that rain shower brought more grey cloud.
The South Bishop Light seen on the left is three miles out beyond Ramsey and was hidden from us during the day by the island itself.
With the cloud gathering all the while the sunset tonight was never going to be spectacular
but it did manage one last display before the sun set on our third day here.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my 1100D Digital SLR.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . refreshments down by the sea.