Padstow to Milford Haven – 70 nautical miles to go and most of it out of sight of land. We departed Padstow in the early hours of 24th May in order to have favourable tides at each end of the day, besides, Padstow inner harbour is behind a lock gate with limited opening hours. On leaving we had an awkward few minutes trying to keep clear of the dredger in the channel with its blazing floodlights. After we got clear of Doombar this was all we could see for the next couple of hours:
That picture was the our navigation lights reflecting back from the anchor on the bow roller – not much help for pilotage. We were very concerned about being able to dodge pot marker lines in the dark and had a powerful lamp at the ready by the wheel, but when we shone it around, all we saw was the glare from our rigging – another lesson in night navigation!
However, the Chartplotter saw us through till daylight and as far as we know our propeller remained clear of lines.
For the whole passage our wind was to be NNE so it not going to be a lot of help and as we got further out into the Bristol Channel it became more and more uncomfortable on board. Around 6 am we were already reducing sail so the revs were increased in order to maintain 5 knots. The log says that by 9am we were on bare poles so we were rolling and pitching like mad.
Again, Dolphins brightened up our day and we had a distant view of Lundy Island – apparently it is possible to take shelter in the lee of the island, but it was was about 12 miles over to starboard and there was not much prospect of the weather improving for us.
Visibility wasn’t great approaching the entrance to Milford Haven but there wasn’t much traffic and after a ferry went by we had the area to ourselves as far as we knew. Dale is just on the left as you enter the Haven so we turned in there and contemplated anchoring but as it was still blowing a bit we decided to tie up on the floating Pontoon near the middle of the bay.
After a couple of nights we moved back out to Dale Bay again and anchored in deep water ready to set off around the islands to Fishguard.