Friday, 12 June 2015

Day 5: Snowdonia's coast - Pwllheli to Barmouth

Odd one out?  Pwllheli Marina

Sitting amongst the immaculate gleaming white cruisers and performance racing yachts of Pwllheli marina, John’s 31-year old Capercaille looked like a boat that had seen some adventures.  After a leisurely breakfast in the company of my father, who had called by to wish us bon voyage, we were joined by our latest crew member, Lowri the Welsh Coast Project Officer and organiser-extraordinaire of this year’s Welsh coast Neptune celebrations.
Lowri at the helm
We cast off and retraced last night’s dash-for-refuge and continued to the St. Tudwal islands, where we drifted past the restless agitation of the seabird colonies.   With no wind to speak of, we motored on a bearing of 160 degrees right out into the middle of Cardigan Bay to avoid Sarn Badrig, the ten mile long shingle bank that juts out at right angles to the coast, before turning east and lining up the bow with the sunlit houses of Barmouth.  We were joined briefly by a solitary dolphin, powering effortlessly alongside.

The sinuous pattern of massive grey drystone walls at Egryn stood out clearly in the late afternoon sun and, as we approached the entrance to the mighty Mawddach estuary, we spotted Ty’n Ffynnon, the onetime home of the National Trust’s first donor, Fanny Talbot, and the surrounding land that she gave in the first two months of our existence in March 1895.
Dinas Oleu and Ty'n Ffynnon (white house above town)
To round off a pleasant evening at Barmouth, John and I paid a pilgrimage to the Trust's first piece of land, Dinas Oleu and then a pleasant diversion to the Frenchman’s Grave.  On our way, we explored the higgledy-piggledy fishermen’s-cottages, a number of which were donated by Fanny Talbot to John Ruskin's Guild of St George where he embarked on his brief but influential idealistic experiment.
 Sitting on the centenary viewpoint, which I was involved with building in 1995

Go to Day 6


  1. Hi Richard, fantastic blog. Your poetic qualities are becoming apparent, another hidden talent along with your latent ability to play the acoustic guitar!!! Once in a lifetime experience, looking forward to your next post. Bon voyage to all on Capercaille.


    or should that be Gaven?

    1. Thanks Gavin for your kind comments. We've reached Fishguard after a long rough sail. Food and drink higher priority than blog tonight.