I recently had the chance to get on the water with Justine and Barry along with other Bardsey Island 'virgins' like myself - Pete Astles from Peak UK and Jeff Cochran. This may be a terrible admission to some but this is a trip I've wanted to do but had not yet done till Barry gave my an inspired phone call and serendipity played its part. And in case your wondering, we left the sixth member of the team behind!
The open crossing itself, whilst having an air of commitment about it, was uneventful on this occasion but one can appreciate the complex nature of the tides and the need for thorough planning, even in the best of conditions. If a paddling team wanted to ensure not only a successful crossing but a rounding of the island also, then some thought needs to go into the undertaking.
Landing on Bardsey enabled us to enjoy the hospitality of the Porter family who have been living and working on Ynys Enlli since October 2007 and amongst other things run a superb tea and gift shop. The other things consist of farming 400 Welsh mountain sheep, 20-30 Welsh Black cattle and various poultry, as well as managing the land and performing monitoring duties for the RSPB.
In all, a wonderful day in great company with superb scenery and paddling conditions. And as with any jolly outing, it was rounded off with fish and chips then home made scones - food of champions :o)
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