A Trip around Anglesey.
We have always wanted to do this trip in stages, in preparation for a nonstop attempt at the round Anglesey race. With careful planning its possible to have a favorable tide most of the way from Pwllheli, round the island and back!
Leaving Pwllheli on a damp Monday morning we routed inside the Gwylan Islands at Aberdaron to take advantage of the back eddy through to and between Carreg Ddu and the mainland, This enabled us to get a 2kt tide in our favour, (whilst the tide runs the other way in the sound!) and an earlier transit through to the north side of Pen Llyn.
We passed through and stayed as close to the cliffs as we could around the corner to avoid the worst of still south going tide. Once the tide turned we went out into open water and got the tide with us all the way to Holyhead, with 3 kts of tide pushing us past the stacks at 10kts! The rough water here can be avoided by either waiting for the slack time (DVR HW/LW) -00:30 or passing well to the west.
We then spend two nights in Holyhead, sampling various local hostelries including superb curry at Raj’s, departing Wednesday lunchtime to take advantage of slack water at the Skerries, and a tidal push down the Eastern side. We always planned to go inside the Skerries and Mouse islands, but on the day it was necessary to go offshore due the wind angle and stronger winds, enabling us to sail round without tacking! Stunning views and enjoyable navigation saw us entering the straits through the fairly narrow NW entrance by the iconic Puffin Island, 3 hours or so into the flood with a tidal push of 2 kts all the way down to Menai bridge, routing via the excellent CHT marks . We took a mooring for the night, and sat in the cockpit admiring the view until very late. Next morning we dropped the chain and set off for the infamous Swellies….timing it for slack water (Local HW -1:30) we followed the three transits and emerged through Britannia bridge unscathed! It was then a short (2 mile) motor to Port Dinorwic where we picked up one of their new moorings for two nights. With a full water taxi service and marina facilities ashore we enjoyed our stay, with an excellent meal in the Garddfon pub.
Saturday saw us departing close to HW at Caernarfon carefully navigating via the marks zig zagging around sandbanks (glad we did…only 2m under the keel at times!) to give us the tide through the Caernarfon Bar, closely following the bar marks, cross checking using the latest positions from the CHT website. This was fairly intensive and we were pleased to pass the fairway buoy. An epic sail down to and through Bardsey again with 2 kts tide down the coast, a shake and rattle over the tripods and 4kts tide through Bardsey, with two kts tide across Hells mouth we made excellent time back to Pwllheli arriving at 16:30
It’s a challenging trip, but well worth the effort, with stunning scenery, and great anchorages and moorings. It’s all about the tides!
Mark and Jo