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Alternative Jubilee Celebrations

Rob Johns
Rob Johns

Written by Rob Johns, MW0RLJ

Well, after a lot of prodding I have finally decided to put pen to paper (infact it's more finger to keyboard very slowly) and write a little something about the jubilee weekend that Jane and myself had - whilst Chris and so many other people were spending time in London watching all the official activities connected with the Queens Jubilee.around ramsey trip 4-june 2012 092

We wanted to do something which was different, and as it was such a fine day, (one of very few which we have had to date this year) so we decided to go on a round Ramsey Island trip. After a quick call to Thousand Island Expeditions to make a booking, and a hectic half hour of making a small packed lunch and making sure we had a different coat for all possible weather scenarios, we headed off to St Davids where we had to pick up our tickets for the trip. When we called them in the morning they said that there were plenty of spaces available but by the time we picked up our tickets they said that the boat was almost full (so glad we booked!!).

We then headed down to St Justinians. This is the same place we sail from when we make our crossings to Ramsey Island for our radio activations, and it is also where the St Davids lifeboat is housed. After a short wait on the slipway it was time to board the "Gower Ranger" and head off on around ramsey trip 4-june 2012 021our mini adventure. We crossed the strech of water known as "Ramsey Sound" and it looked so different to when we normally cross because we were approaching from a different angle.

As soon as we saw the landing stage we felt that we should be going up to see our friends Gregaround ramsey trip 4-june 2012 025 and Lisa, the island wardens, but when we thought about it we had been to see them only a few weeks previously and this was after all an adventure. We approached the island now from the south side of the rocky outcrops which were in full view due to the low state of the tide ,and it is these rock  that create the turbulent waters of what is known as "The Bitches", when the tide is coming in and going out.       

Just around the next small headland we had a view of the Farmhouse and the outbuildings,from a different perspective to our normal view. Now the skipper began our leisurely trip around the island,assisted by a running comentary from his mate. We were so lucky that the weather was fairly calm, and we could go around ramsey trip 4-june 2012 038very close to the craggy coastline.

On the first stretch  of cliffs we came accross dozens of Razorbills on the ledges,all of which had something to say to one another and which resulted in quite a noisy reception. We had now reached the southernmost point of the island and we began to weave through the numerous small island which cluster together at this point and which are below one of the high points of the island, (the point from which I had done a video on a previous stay on the island). Whilst we were going through these smaller island we were surrounded by all sorts of wildlife.

There were seals hauled up on the rocks enjoying the sunshine, there were delicate Kittiwakes uparound ramsey trip 4-june 2012 031 on the ledges sitting on their precariously placed nests and also Guillimots in large numbers, also sitting on their nests and easy to see on the ledges which had become white with the stains of their droppings.  We were now on the West side of the Island and a bit more exposed to the Atlantic winds and as we headed north along this coastline we were confronted by some great rock formations and areas of different coloured lichens wich survive on these salt washed, exposed cliffs.  

around ramsey trip 4-june 2012 058We now headed towards the northern end of the island which, in contast to the rugged southern end consists of more gently  sloping rocks, which are more accessible from the fields above, making them much easier for sheep to get down close to the waters edge.

After we had rounded the last point on the north end we could see the islands landing stage in the distance,and after going in and out of a few small caves, some of which were reportedly used by German U-Boats to get acces to fresh water during the war years, our trip was just about over.

All we had leftaround ramsey trip 4-june 2012 066 to do was to cross Ramsey sound again and head for the slipway at St Justinians.What a great way to spend  an afternoon, and I would recommennd it to anyone.