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" West Wales - 2019 - Gareth & Rhian "


Date & start time:    Thursday 17th October 2019. 

Stayed at :                 Doves Cottage, Abercastle, Pembrokeshire, UK.   ( SM 852 338)

Location of walks:   Porthgain ( SM 185 325) and St Justinians ( SM 723 252)

Places visited :         Abercastle, Porthgain, St Justinians and St Davids.

Walk details :             Short walks at each location.

With :                          Gareth, Rhian, Luke, Ann and our dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                    A changeable day with sunshine and showers.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


On the Thursday our son Gareth, daughter-in-law Rhian and our grandson Luke

drove down from their home north of Swansea to join us for the day.

The weather wasn't quite as kind as Gareth's visit last Sunday but no matter, there's plenty to do.

Setting the scene for the morning . . . sunshine and showers as we await their arrival.

Luke missed out on part of his breakfast so has a quick snack of banana when he arrived.

It is looking brighter out there . . .

Lunch followed after a good chat and a look around the cottage.

Afterwards we drove the short distance to Porthgain Harbour.

This is a village with a strong history of trade and quarrying but is now mainly reliant on tourism.

These old worker's cottages are in good condition.

The pub inside reflects the heritage of the village in its photos and memorabilia on the walls.

However it is dog-unfriendly and therefore failed to gain our patronage during our stay.

The old warehouse on the front has been converted into "The Shed", a bistro restaurant specializing in serving fish.

We had take-away and a meal there during the week and found them very good each time.

The harbour is in good condition and protects local fishing boats during the bad weather.

The white house on the far side is the old Harbour Master's office.

Time to wrap up warmly from the breeze and a heavy little shower that is threatening to give us a soaking.

As we walk out on the coast path to the north we can look back and see some of the old industry of the area.

The brick buildings were silos for storing and loading road stone from the quarry into coastal trading boats.

The main quarry is out of picture to the right,

As we climb the slope the sun returned and a rainbow appeared, reflected and refracted in the departing shower.

Colours in the sky.

The white obelisk is one of two stone pillars to mark the entrance to the slightly hidden harbour.

The pillar on the headland the other side of the inlet is square in nature so you can tell the two apart in foggy conditions.

A short but interesting walk for Luke and ourselves to see the cliff scenery and the view up the coast.

We would walk around the rocky cliff a little further, to the cairn on the highest point of the headland.

From there we could see north to the island of Ynys Deullyn offshore from Abercastle.

Beyond was the coastline continuing north towards Strumble Head.

Time to head back to Porthgain . . . the other white marker can be seen on the next headland.

- - - o o o - - -

We decided to drive a little further to St Justinian near St Davids, a place we spent many holidays with the children.

The pink house and the old lifeboat house still look the same.

You can get commercial boat trips for adventure or wildlife from here which take you out into the Sound and around the islands.

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The weather out in the Sound looks a bit wet

but a signboard encouraged us to walk along the headland

and visit the new RNLI Lifeboat House


The new headquarters was commissioned in 2014

and houses a brand new lifeboat The Norah Wortley

which entered service at that time.

The new building was completed in October 2016

after which the old boat was retired from active service.



- - - o o o - - -

Inside the new Lifeboat Station.

They have designed the building not only to house the boat and rescue control room, crew facilities and maintenance facilities

but also incorporate a shop and a public area where we could view the boat in safety

Luke gets a lift up to look inside the boat.
It is held in place by a winch cable and safety strops.

The main boat is an all weather offshore Tamar Class craft which can reach 25 knotts and has a range of 250 miles.

Beyond it, on a side platform, is a smaller D class inshore boat for cliff rescue and smaller rescue work.

A model of the Tyne Class Lifeboat, the Garside, which was in service in St Justinian's for many years.

We we were at it's launch, watching from the cliffs above in 1988.

Its predecessor was the Ruby and Arthur Reed . . .
. . . seen launching from the old lifeboat station.
The video screen also showed the new boat . . .
. . . being launched from the boathouse were were in now.
Also on display were the historic pictures of older boats . . .
. . . and older crew members.

- - - o o o - - -


St Justinians Station has been in existence since 1867

with many credits and awards to its name.


Despite the number of callouts, the team still practice

and as luck would have it

there was a practice launch this evening.


Time for a short walk and a cup of tea

and we could be back here for six.


- - - o o o - - -

- - - o o o - - -

Time for a little walk along the coast path to the south.

The Sound of Ramsey offers sheltered moorings for most of the year

and is home to the tourist rib boats and a few fishermen.

Time is slightly of the essence as Rhian has to be back in Carmarthen for eight o'clock

so we head back to the car.

The new boathouse seen from the cliff path.

The sunshine had returned and we leave St Justinians for a short while . . . we'll be back by six.

Time for some afternoon tea in St Davids itself.

We parked near the gatehouse to St David's Cathedral.

It is a fine, imposing building, the first church here was originally built in the valley to hide from sea-borne raiders.

The present cathedral was begun in 1181 but the use of the site as a religious centre pre-dates that time.

In 1081, William the Conqueror visited St Davids to pray, and thus recognised it as a holy and respected place (Wikipedia)

- - - o o o - - -

Tea at the Pebble Yard cafe can be recommended.

- - - o o o - - -

Back down to St Justinians . . .

. . . slightly early so chance of a quick photo from the opposite coast path of the three lifeboat houses

as apparently the slate roofed building below held the first ever sailing/rowing lifeboat that was stationed here.

Inside as a heavy shower passes, the sun brings a yellow tinge to the water droplets in the air.

A close-up through the windows of the boat, the three computer screens switched on and ready for action.

The coxswain chatting whilst getting kitted up.
The winch man ready at the controls.

Finally with a full practice crew on board the boat is about to leave.

The lovely design of the building allows us, the public, to be present inside the building during a launch like this.

The boat is tilted ready for release.
It is lowered slightly on the winch cable onto the slipway.
The cable is released, the crew hold on . . .
. . . and she slides quickly down the slipway.

With engines running and the propellers already turning she hits the water and is away.

Missed the splash . . . hold your cursor over the picture to see it again.

Radio masts now raised and flags flying, it sets off into the Sound.

Today was a practice so the boat spends time within the bay completing their training exercises.

Before we go we see the important shore crew preparing the cable
which they will use later to draw the boat back up the slipway.

Click on the start button to play the two minute launch video

The excitement over, we get ready to leave.

- - - o o o - - -

Back at the car Luke joins the dogs in the back.

I've just seen the boat go splash !
But it is time to say goodbye to our grandson.

We'll next see him after Christmas some time.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 mid-range System Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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5. Abercastle with Gill

Previous walk - 16th October 2019 - West Wales - Abercastle with Gill

A previous time in the area - 16th April 2016 - West Wales - St Justinians

Next walk18th October - West Wales - Caerfai Bay and Home

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