This is Forward Port watch reporting from a misty, foggy afternoon whilst anchored just off Porthdinilaen along the North Wales coast (apparently, as the only sign of land nearby was a barking dog as we arrived).
Most of our fellow shipmates are aloft as part of our first climbing session, whilst others are chilling on deck, soaking up some rays. We’ve been fortunate with the weather so far, with the sun shining most days, resulting in some of us sporting more questionable tan-lines than others.
The voyage started on day-one (aka Monday) with an exciting transit through the bridges and locks of Cardiff Bay out into the Bristol Channel. We saw a Dutch submarine and an accompanying warship – the submarine (and the crew!) even gave us a little wave with their tail-fin-things. (to which I’ve now been reliably informed are, in fact, called “dive planes”).
We anchored off Barry Island for the night, where we all shared a moment of reflection upon seeing the 3 lonely masts of Nellie.
Forward Port watch had a fairly low-key anchor watch off Barry, except for the surprising appearance of a fridge floating past on the fast tide. Not every day you see kitchen appliances floating past! We’re pleased to report that we’ve not seen any further kitchen, or other, household appliances, other than in the galley!
The following morning, we set our sights on Lundy Island, with the aim to go ashore, where unfortunately the latest attempt on the previous voyage was foiled by a large swell, preventing us from going ashore (but the visit to the shores of Lundy was nonetheless very appreciated).
We were greeted by the stunning sight of Pelican of London at anchor when we arrived at Lundy Island, as we did a friendly doughnut around her and a Mexican wave as a greeting, before settling down for our anchorage for the night. It was a beautiful evening for such a special moment, with two British tall-ships alongside in such a stunning location being quite the rare sight. The evening was made extra special by a visit of some of the crew from Pelican coming over to visit us on Tenacious.
The next day (day-three) offered yet another stunning day of sunshine as we went ashore to explore Lundy Island. A very long and steep climb up the hill saw some of our fellow shipmates longing for the moment the pub opened, whilst others took the opportunity to explore the wildlife and scenery that Lundy has to offer.
Amongst the many wonderful sights, we saw, we spotted a whole load of wildlife including: Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, the Lundy ponies, loads and loads of sheep, seals and some basking shipmates in the shallow waters of the beach by the harbour, whilst waiting for DOTI and Zoe to pick us up. There was a church which we explored, as well as a museum and some made it to the opposite side of the island (John O’Groats House) to a lighthouse and to the castle, and most made it to the tavern for a well-earned refreshing beverage, and some sustenance. One (unknowing) shipmate had a scone (pronounce that how you wish) which started the inevitable discussion of jam or cream first, and I’m sure you can imagine how that went.
Our lovely BM Ness found a spot ashore to observe Tenacious from afar and took the opportunity to draw the stunning views ahead of her, before making the most of the gorgeous blue seas and went for a swim (amongst some friendly jellyfish).
When the rest of the crew came back down from the heights and sights of Lundy Island, a few more of us joined Ness in the refreshing waters, which was a very welcome experience to cool us down after a hot summer’s day. In fact, it was a perfect way to spend the Summer Solstice, or Mid-summer, which our fellow Swedish shipmate was keen to celebrate. Forward Port watch also had the good fortune to be on for the 8pm to midnight watch, which included a lovely sunset at sea (no green flash to report, though, and no further kitchen appliances either) but it was a wonderful end to a wonderful day.
No trip to a new place is complete without a visit to the souvenir shop and this trip had been no different, with two cute little Pufflings being sprung free from the shop and adopted by two of our lovely shipmates who stayed onboard while we explored ashore. One of them, Puffling Darren, (this is the puffin, not a new nickname for a shipmate) has become a firm favourite amongst the Forward Port watch and has helped spot ships and lobster pots.
As evening drew in we weighed anchor and headed North with an overnight motor sail up across Cardigan Bay and dropped anchor at lunch time on Day 4 which is where this tale started.
Before we’d headed aloft in the fog, Bosun Stu did a great sail setting talk which was later on followed by some practice with bracing the yards in preparation for some (hopeful!) sailing tomorrow, which helped us work off some of the scrummy food that has been expertly provided by the wonderful galley team.
After lunch out on deck, in the bright light, our fellow crewmates came down from aloft with tales of great adventures on the yards but zero visibility (which required great imagination to visualise the stunning views we were assured were “just beyond the fog”).
We then did some assisted climbs with every single one of our crewmates inspiring us with their tenacity and sheer determination to push themselves to climb higher and higher.
The feat of going aloft was even more impressive considering the amount of food we’ve all consumed during the last 4 days – It has been a theme for the entire voyage: Gorgeous food with gorgeous views and gorgeous company!).
We then watched as the fog started to lift (and the beautiful fog-bows became as distant memory) whilst we tucked onto our evening meal, yet another one enjoyed out on deck, as the stunning landscape around us started to emerge out of the fog like the first signs of spring appearing through a blanket of snow as it starts to thaw.
As things transpired, the earlier adventures aloft in the fog had ignited a new-found spark of curiosity to explore further up the mast, which saw a whole group of people once again donning their harnesses and climbing further up the masts, which was a wonderful sight to experience from below on deck, with many a selfie and photo to capture the special moment, which included reaching the button on the top mast.
We also had a cheeky little visit by some familiar faces who came alongside in canoes to say “Hi” and have a closer look at Tenacious from a less common angle.
Photo credit on the news page: Shell!