Thursday, 18 June 2015

Day 12: A 'rather boisterous' journey: Swansea to Cardiff

Swansea marina - arrow marks Capercaille
For today's last leg of our epic tour of the Welsh coast, there was just John and I on-board Capercaillie.  Like the only other section when we didn't have any colleagues on-board, south Meirionnydd, this section of coast is unjustly devoid of National Trust properties.

Before sailing, we met yesterday's passenger, Kathryn with the long-awaited stop solenoid outside the National Waterfront Museum.  She handed over a bag with four bottles of Gower Gold beer and said, "because you didn't get to see Gower yesterday, I thought you should taste it instead"

Nevertheless, after about an hour into the sail we got great views of the south Gower coast, including Pwlldu Head and Three Cliffs Bay.  We sailed out far into the Bristol Channel to miss the Scarweather and Nash sand banks, which stood out as an menacing line of angry boiling surf to our north-east.
With the wind increasing to Force 6, we clicked in our harnesses as the boat yawed and rode the waves at a cracking pace.  At one point, as the wind was whistling in the rigging, John decided that we'd be safer with the genoa sail out and the mainsail taken down and sent me to walk along the pitching deck to furl the sail.  A couple of times when a big swell caught us, I had to hug the mast at to stop being thrown off.

The exhilarating sail continued in a similar fashion for another 7 hours, past Porthcawl, Nash Point, Barry Island, Penarth and eventually the barrage lock gates at Cardiff.

And so it was that 12 days and 402 miles since leaving Bangor, and having enjoyed the company of 10 adventurous colleagues and having sailed past all 133 National Trust properties in Wales, that John and I celebrated the completion of our circumnavigation with a satisfying "taste of Gower".

Entering the lock gates into the Cardiff Bay lagoon
One valedictory gesture remains, that is to sail across Cardiff bay to the Senedd.  But that will have to wait until tomorrow morning.

Go to Day 13


  1. Llongyfarchiadau John a Richard, congratulations. The idea of sailing along the entire coast of Wales in order to celebrate 50 years of the Neptune Coastal campaign, visiting National Trust sites en route and sharing sections of your voyage with National Trust colleagues and volunteers was inspired. The Senedd awaits!!

    Best wishes to John and Capercaille on their return voyage.

    1. Hi Gavin - s'gen ti gyfeiriad ebost I mi cael yrru lluniau?

  2. Kathryn Thomas, Gower Ranger20 June 2015 at 09:08

    What a trip! Well done gents. I had the privilege of joining John and Richard at Tenby, ready to set sail for Gower. I was too busy feeling a little queasy (massive understatement) to express admiration for their sailing ability (with zero visibility) and musical accompaniment along the way. A memorable voyage taking in the beautiful Welsh Coast. And finished off with a good welsh beer!

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    1. Thanks Yatika for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the blog post about our sailing trip.