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|Summer Cruise 08 - 16th - 23rd June.
Watchet to Swansea
We took a look over the wall late thursday evening and the seas seemed to be settling some - and Friday morning saw no more than a 3-4 - still in the SW to W. Headed out at 7.45am - a little before HW.
Once a mile or so out, I hung on to a 300 or so ground track - with the jib up and engine on - into a sizeable chop, with the wind on our nose, more or less.
After a while we killed the jib - the wind was lightening drastically - and the sea losing some of the chop but gaining a large friendly swell.
The further west you go, the clearer it gets - it really was almost blue here, not a colour you see much around Weston Bay !
By the time we were past W Scarweather - 30 miles out from Watchet - the wind had died almost completely, the sun was out and the sea was a lovely rolling swell.
We were early on Swansea - which is a bit tight for depth around LW springs - and could easily had made Oxwich Bay for an anchorage. After 'Blue Anchor night' - we settled for Swansea marina ! Again - I wanted to go in there for the experience. Its so much easier the second time in.
A wise decision - as the small depression waiting in the wings had now developed - a new gale/storm warning, for Sat/Sun.
But for now we were enjoying a balmy late afternoon - ambling over toward Oxwich to get a jist of the coast around there - then made our way for the Swansea approach - finding the S Card off Mumbles - for the easy line of beautiful old entrance buoys - red and green iron, with glorious sounding bells, clanging with the swell.
Approach well buoyed - and two, wide, parallel harbour walls. Once halfway in you can see the ferry terminal on the right and the sea lock over to the left. A straightforward lock in to the Tawe Lock ( channel 18 ) There are two good holding buoys downstream of the lock - and plenty of sea room to just hang about on the engine - but very shallow over to starboard once past the ferry terminal. Only operates between 0070 and 2130 ! Don't be late !
Radio the marina for a berth - and tie up to a ladder to sort it out. Council run now, apparently - and cheap at 12.50 for Lena - very efficient and were even happy for us to pay when we left !
The first 'Green Grounds' buoy of the Swansea approach - lined up with the radio mast just visible on the hill.
The gale warning of Friday seemed a little late developing - so took her out for an evening sail on the Sat - about 5.30pm around Swansea Bay. No real sea going and a 5+ wind gave us a good run about. We had 5.1 kts through the water on a close haul - and 5.3 on a reach. I don't sail Lena enough like this - I tend to be a bit cautious when out on my own - but she will really fly along ( when you get the trim right ! )
Swansea Yacht club is excellent - with food all day and clubhouse view that many a restaurant would die for. Also free intenet in the top bar for members and guests. No one even queried our being in there, or signed us in or anything.
The Marina has good showers and facilities - if looking a little run down here and there. The Swansea development around the old dock is a bit 'dead' - not quite what its hyped up to be - but a good bolt hole around this part of the channel. I'm glad we came in here - as I can see myself using it a good deal. Its do-able from Weston direct.
Saw the full force of the weather - with 6-7 blowing even in the dock area. Checked the internet again - and inshore forecasts. Monday was dropping off 3-4 - similar Tuesday - but we could see another massive low brewing west on the synoptic charts. Decide to head back up channel, rather than go on to Tenby - and into Barry and Cardiff.
Monday - Swansea to Barry, cont...