This is the final blog post of a 13 day voyage on-board the yacht Capercaillie, made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Neptune Coastline Campaign in Wales.
To follow our adventures as we visited the Trust's Neptune coast in Wales, go to our first blog post and follow the links through the days.
|Capercaillie is dwarfed amongst the playthings of the conspicuously wealthy, at Penarth Marina|
Last night’s late arrival caused us to put off the final step of our round-Wales coastal marathon, the short trip across the Cardiff Bay lagoon to the pontoons in front of our government building, the Senedd.
“I think we may have a problem.” John was scanning the quays with his binoculars on our approach.
It turned out that the visitors’ pontoons had been taken over by performance racing catamarans and official race vessels. We found a space and cheekily squeezed in amongst a few hundred thousand pounds worth of carbon fibre super-yacht. Predictably, we were immediately approached by a man in a dayglow jacket and walkie-talkie who pointed to an official-looking notice and stated that the whole area was cordoned off for the duration of the racing event.
But we had an event to complete too, I argued, and a brief stand-off ensued. This was a public pier and we’d also been planning our event for over six months, I argued. Nevertheless, a contest between two slightly disheveled tee-shirted blokes with a 30 year old yacht and a uniform-clad security officer backed by a multimillion-pound sponsored yachting event, there could only be one winner.
|We moored cheekily amongst the super yachts before being moved on by security|
With our inscrutable adversary watching impatiently over us, John and I cut one of the Sails Around Wales banners off, threw my bags onto the quay and gave each other a manly farewell hug. I thrust the rolled-up banner under my arm, turned to the officer, who seemed to be at the point of calling for reinforcements, and I asked him to evict me from the pontoons.
On the Senedd steps, Tom, a friendly young man who explained that he’d just completed a survival training course and was heading for a big breakfast, agreed to photograph me holding the banner. Feeling slightly disappointed that John was not able to join me for this last step of our journey around Wales, I smiled for the camera as, over Tom’s shoulder, I spotted Capercaille and its skipper, heading off to prepare for their return journey.
I thanked Tom, picked up my bags and headed off to find a taxi back to life on terra-firma.
|Journey's end. Sails Around Wales reaches the Senedd|