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Autumn 2005 Day 4
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 5
We try again to see if we can go to Ramsay Island today, and yes, the swell has subsided, and it's safe to go!
We set off from the Lifeboat House at St Justinians, just outside St Davids.
It's about a mile across Ramsay Sound to the island, and all seem happy so far.
We are shown how to put on our life jackets - please let's hope we don't need them!
Wow! Off we zoom!
A few minutes later we disembark ...
... and climb up to the farmhouse ...
... where we assemble for our guided tour by the RSPB warden. Some people hire binoculars and then ...
... off we go. It is a rather special thing to visit the island, as they only allow 40 people a day, to save disturbing the wildlife.
Most of the birds have gone now, but at this time of year the main interest is the arrival of seal pups on the beaches. Here we look down and ...
... spot some pups in this cove.
Quite a drop down there, but we do see some seals - believe us!
Tracey has the best view with her 10x zoom!
We then walk up to the top of the higher hill Carn Llundain, 446 feet ...
... where it is possible (on a clear day) to have a good view of St David's Cathedral. It was built in a hollow to try to avoid the eagle eye of the Viking raiders, but without much luck!
Looking north we can see the dangerous reef The Bitches and Whelps. This halves the width of the Sound and acts like a weir over which the flooding tide roars. The current through the main channel can run at 6 knots, and it is this more than anything else that has kept Ramsay such a wild and undeveloped island.
On our return to the farmhouse we cross an ancient raised causeway.
Some said this reminded them of one of the seven dwarfs - can you see what they mean? Look for the eyes, the mouth, the nose and the hat!
Back at the farmhouse the kettle is soon boiling and we have very welcome mugs of tea to go with our sandwiches.
At one o'clock the boat arrives. We thank the warden for an excellent morning on the island. Everyone has thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Kathy looks pleased to be returning to terra firma in a few minutes time.
Here Kathy and Maurice wave us off on a round the island trip of one and a half hours.
The weather is brightening up ...
... although some of us seem a little apprehensive about what we are in for.
But we needn't have worried, as the tour is excellent, and we have plenty of stops to see the wildlife. Cormorants here, unless anyone knows any better.
This is "Batchelor's Beach" where all the unattached male seals, youngsters, pensioners etc all congregate in close proximity.
One end of the island is volcanic and here are regularly shaped rock crystals, where the molten lava has cooled very quickly, rather like the Giants Causeway in Ireland.
Puff the magic dragon - there he blows, otherwise a water spout.
We stop to look at one of the main beaches where the seal pups and their families are based.
Just to give you some idea of the height of the cliffs, two walkers cross the skyline.
Oh no, engine trouble. But after a few adjustments we are on our way again.
We have completed a circuit of the island and up there is the farmhouse once again.
The commentary provided by the guide from Thousand Island has been excellent.
We zoom off back to the mainland ...
... where we stagger up onto the launch ramp of the lifeboat ...
... before climbing right up only to have to go down again and up many more steps to reach the car park! A very memorable day out.
Day 5