Ceredigion Marine Heritage Coast - Day1

This section of the Welsh coast is one that I have been planning to visit for some time; one of the principal attractions being the possibility of encountering bottlenose dolphins. There are around 100 dolphins known to be resident in Cardigan Bay; their presence being one of the key factors in the formation of the Ceredigion Marine Heritage Coast.
Although I had high hopes of encountering these wonderful creatures, having only seen dolphins once before while sea kayaking, my hopes were tempered with a healthy dose of realism.
In fact, over the course of two of the best day's kayaking I have ever had in Wales, both the number and proximity of the sightings experienced, far surpassed anything I might have hoped for.
A late arrival at Cardigan meant launching and floating down a very shallow estuary channel...
...after which we were quickly amongst the rock gardens heading toward Cardigan Island.
Beyond the island the sea state quickly picked up. A low northerly swell rebounded off the cliffs and with a small amount of tide adding to the chop, it was an enjoyably wet and bouncy ride east with a brief landing at Mwnt, before we tucked in to enjoy some some of the dramatic arches and caves.
A little further off shore, eyes peeled for dolphins amidst the chop, I had resigned myself to the fact that conditions were pretty poor for a sighting. Reflected waves leaped upwards in small pinnacles as we disappeared in turn between the wave crests and troughs but beyond Aberporth the sea quickly dropped away...
...just as I caught sight of three fins. They swept past without fuss, heading west, this one breaking the surface just yards from the bow.
Elated, we continued with our own journey, beneath striking cliffs and ancient hill forts.
I appreciated just how difficult it would have been for the warriors of old to breach such defences as we looked for a means to scale the cliffs and find a camp for the night.
A little further and an easier angled section cliffs allowed for what would have been an easy enough landing with empty boats: a slightly more difficult proposition once loaded however.
Having left remarkably little gel coat on the rocks and anchored the boats to a large boulder well above the high water mark, we ferried our gear to the top.
As the late evening sun caught the cliffs it all seemed worth the effort.
A superb sunset above the Atlantic our just reward...
...and the promise of a fine day to follow giving rise to great expectations for tomorrow.


Taran Tyla said…
Awesome pics, especially the first one :)