Best of Bardsey

It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while, things just come together in a meant-to-be sort of fashion. Having paddled infrequently this year, and with my hopes for a bit-of-rough last weekend smoothed over, I had high hopes for our trip to Bardsey. And it simply couldn't have been any better - this really was Bardsey Island at its best.
Launching with the ebb at Porth Oer, we had hoped for a bit of play in the race that forms off Braich y Pwll. And there were a few waves but beyond that, the water turned to glass.
In the middle of Bardsey Sound and in the middle hours of an admittedly small spring tide, we sat in bemused appreciation, the only movement a gentle rise and fall as our hulls lifted in the gentlest of swells. I have crossed the sound in some fairly eye opening conditions, both rough and calm, but I have never seen it so completely stilled and silent.
Crossing to Bardsey itself, the tide picked up and beneath the eastern cliffs a series of overfalls had formed, providing a perfect play spot for the next hour or so.
With the warmth it seems the wildlife has finally returned - the first puffin, for me, this year.
Chris drifting south...
...towards our next play spot...
...before heading out of the race...
...and on towards Pen Diban, the southern tip of Bardsey.
Coming around the low headland, we passed inside Carreg yr Honwy, joining the locals to eddy hop north amongst the reefs.
Later, having waited for the tide to turn, we began the return crossing, punching into a light headwind that cooled burning arms. Now there are crossings, and then there are crossings. This one was a delight. Manx shearwaters repeatedly cut across our path and mid way across, a fin broke the surface.
It was followed by several others with which we kept pace, some 100 yards behind, their exhalations carrying clearly on the breeze as we pushed on towards the cliffs of the Lleyn Peninsula. From there I pushed the pace, testing my paddling fitness, stopping only on turning the last low headland into Porth Oer.
An early start and a late finish but a perfect day on the water and without doubt, the very best of Bardsey.
I know how he feels.


John Bunyan said…
Hi Will, great photos as usual! Do you post-process them at all as the colours always look vibrant. Do you tweak the saturation, or are they straight from the camera?....
Will Herman said…
Thanks John.
I do 'post-process' but in the vast majority of cases, I try to make sure an image is a real reflection of the scene as it was, rather than simply over-saturating for effect. I don't always shoot raw files, but clearly this gives more scope to correct exposures etc. too. I view processing digital files in the same way as I would dodging or burning etc. when shooting with film.
Saturation is also something that can be pre-set on most DSLRs - is that more valid than processing later?
It's an old argument but my view is, it's all 'art' ultimately and there's a lot more to a good image than saturation.
Anyway, I'm no expert - I just enjoy taking pictures!