Wildlife Sightings August 2017

Wildlife Sightings August 2017

August was another fantastic month for wildlife sightings. Every single offshore trip to Grassholm saw dolphins whether that be Common Dolphin or the rarer Rissos Dolphin. We also had an increased number of Minke Whale sightings out towards the Celtic Deep as well as more unusual sightings such as Sunfish, Basking Sharks and all sorts of different Jellyfish species. We have also had sightings of migrating bird species such as the Arctic Skua on its passage past Ramsey.

These amazing sightings have been shared with a whole host of different passengers: from clued-up twitchers eager to spot their favourite bird close up in the wild, to families with children looking to see some seals basking in the summer sun. It has been another very successful summer sharing the amazing wildlife and stunning scenery with locals and visitors alike. 

Cylch Cinio Hwlffordd – Mordaith Ynys Dewi 26 Mehefin 2017

Cylch Cinio Hwlffordd – Mordaith Ynys Dewi 26 Mehefin 2017

Cylch Cinio Hwlffordd – Mordaith Ynys Dewi 26 Mehefin 2017

Trefnwyd ymweliad flynyddol y Cylch eleni yn fordaithYnysoedd Arfordir Tyddewi trwy gwmni  Fordeithiau Darganfod ( Voyages of Discovery ) o Dyddewi. Ymadaodd bâd y cwmni gyda aelodau Cylch Cinio Hwlffordd o Borthladd Porthclais ar noson braf o Mehefin gyda llanw uchel o 7.34 metr yn agoshau.

Roedd amodau tywydd yn ddelfrydol o hyfryd a’r môr yn gymharol dawel. Yn y rhan gyntaf o’r fordaith trefnodd perchenog y bâd, Rhys Price a’i griw ein tywys i ran enwog o’r môr rhwng Ynys Dewi a’r tir mawr a adnabyddir fel y ‘Bitches’. Mae y lleoliad rhwng cyfres o greigiau ac Ynys Dewi. ac mae yn ardal beryglus i longau hyd yn oed ar dywydd teg. Cawsom y profiad trawiadol o fynd trwy’r ras llanw pan oedd y mewn lanw yn ei fan uchaf a roedd y llanw’n rhuthro’n nerthol rhwng y creigiau a gwelwyd gwahaniaeth o 1.5 metr rhwng y ddwy ochr i’r creigiau. Hefyd, cafwyd hanes ddiddorol gan y criw am nifer o longddrylliadau a ddigwyddod yn y rhan beryglus yma o’r môr, ac un cofiadus a thrist oedd y digwyddiad pan aeth y llong ‘Democat’ i drafferthion yn 1910. Galwyd y Bad Achub, y ‘Gem’ o St Justinians ac achubwyd dau o griw’r llong, ond mewn amser byr aeth y bad achub ei hun i drafferthion yn y storm ac arweiniodd i golledigaeth o dri o griw’r bad achub. Mae’n rhaid cofio fod hwylio yn y cyfnod hynny yn ddibynol ar hwyliau a rhwyfau.

Wedyn aeth y bâd allan a ni at arfordir Ynys Dewi a gweld ysblander yr ynys a’i creigiau uchel ac ogofau tywyll hir. Gwelwyd rai morlo llwyd ynghyd a’r adar, Gwylog (guillemot), Llurs (razorbill) y Wylan Goesddu (kittiwake) a’r Fulfran Werdd (Shag).

Wedyn, aeth y bâd allan a ni weld Ynys y ‘Bishops’ Ogleddol, lle gwelwyd rhagor o’r gwylog a llurs ond hefyd yr aderyn hoffus gyda’i big lliwgar y pal (puffin) oedd yn nythu mewn tyllau cwningod ar yr ynys fach a‘r wylan fwyaf ac ysgyfaethus, Gwylan Gefnddu Fwyaf (Great Black Back Gull).

Fel roedd y nôs yn agoshau gwelwyd miloedd o’r adar Drycin Manaw (Manx Shearwater), yn hedfan yn isel dros y dŵr wrth ddychwelyd i Ynys Sgomer ar ol diwrnod o bysgota ym moroedd Bae Ceredigion.

Cyn dychwelyd i Borthclais aeth y bâd a ni mewn i Fae St Justinians lle gwelwyd golygfa arbennig o’r Bad Achub newydd gyda pob cyfleusderau safonol angenrheidiol heddiw a’r hen fâd uchub gerllaw.

Wedi dychwelyd i Porthclais, diolchodd y Cadeirydd, John Daniels i berchenoog y bad Rhys Price a’i griw am noson arbennig, ddiddorol, hwylus ac addysgiadol yn cynnwys hanes Ynys Dewi, phenomenon y ras llanw yn y ‘Bitches’, adar y môr ac yn bwysig gwmni cyfeillgar.

Alys Perry volunteers on Ramsey

Alys Perry volunteers on Ramsey

This August one of our crew persons, Alys Perry, was lucky enough to volunteer on Ramsey with the RSPB wardens. She spent the week helping out with the day to day maintenance of the island as well as important scientific research and conservation.

We asked Alys to write a short summary of what she got up to and this is what she had to say:

“I spent the week of 5th till the 12th of August, as a residential volunteer on Ramsey island. It was an amazing experience, and was so nice to see Ramsey island from a different perspective. It was great to see parts of the island from the cliff tops which I normally only see from the water. Throughout the week I took part in various activities, these included, meeting and greeting day visitors, seal identification surveys, keeping track of the number of seal pups on the island, helping with the weekly checks of Manx shearwater chicks, checking the Manx shearwater artificial nest boxes, bird surveys, checking the rodent boxes and helping to maintain and clear paths.

Lisa and Greg the wardens on Ramsey are really awesome people who are so passionate about wildlife, it was great to work with them, along with Sarah (the assistant warden) and Steve (another volunteer). I cannot wait to get back on the island to get involved in more conservation.”

The experience that Alys gained from volunteering on the island will no doubt be of great use to her for her work on the boats with Voyages of Discovery and for her university studies where she is studying for a degree in marine biology. 

Rugby on our minds

Rugby on our minds

With an amazing Lions Tour concluding down in New Zealand at the beginning of July we all had rugby on our minds here at Voyages of Discovery. And at the end of July Man-Up UK held a Dads and Lads Weekend with Welsh rugby stars joining for a great evening out on Ramsey Island. Rhys Webb, Ryan Jones, Shane Williams and James Hook came aboard with Wales women’s player Jasmine Joyce and Ospreys and Bristol ex-coach and now BBC rugby pundit Sean Holley joining the Welsh stars on the boat. All enjoyed a trip around Ramsey with us as well as landing onto the island to have a look around and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Just a few days later we were joined again by rugby royalty, record setting Welsh captain, two tour British and Irish Lions captain, and all-round nice guy Sam Warburton joined us for a Ramsey Island Voyage with his family.

With all these rugby stars joining us on trips it was only fitting that Voyages of Discovery helped organise the inaugural St Davids RFC v Man-Up UK charity rugby match raising money for Prostate Cymru, Voyages of Discovery associated charity. Director of Voyages of Discovery Rhys Price captained the St Davids side to a narrow defeat against a strong team made up of club players from across West Wales.

After the match Graham Price, Welsh front-rower and the record setter for the most Lions caps for a prop forward gave a tremendous speech about his life as an international player and the camaraderie between players on tour. A question and answer session was then held with Graham Price, Sean Holley, Ian Walsh and Geraint Bowen quizzed about their times as players with Radio Pembrokeshire presenter Bill Carne mediating the session.

A large amount was raised through a charity auction and through generous donations by spectators and patrons of the club with a great night enjoyed by all. 

Spring 2017

We are back on the water for 2017 and have had a great Easter to kick off the year. With our regular trips around Ramsey showing off the large number of Atlantic Grey Seals on the beaches for the malting season, nesting sea-birds arriving back ready for the breeding season, and our resident harbour porpoise feeding in the sound. We have also had trips down to Skomer where the latest Puffin count puts the numbers at 3000 more than this time last year, that’s over 25000 Puffins! 

We have an all new fleet of vessels this year built over the winter with the most up-to-date navigation and safety equipment and fitted with new G2 300hp Evinrude engines allowing for a smooth safe voyage around the Pembrokeshire Islands.

As the waters warm up we will start our Offshore Islands Expedition looking for Dolphins and Whales out towards Grassholm and the Smalls Lighthouse. Last year saw some of our largest Common Dolphin pod sizes on record as well as a good number of Minke Whale and Rissos Dolphin. This year we hope for the same and even better so keep your eyes peeled if you are joining us on that trip which should start around Whitsun.

We are excited for another successful year showcasing what we have to offer here in Pembrokeshire and we look forward to taking you out on one of our excellent sailings.

Team Voyages

PEMBROKESHIRE TOURISM AWARDS 2016

PEMBROKESHIRE TOURISM AWARDS 2016

We are pleased to announce we have reached the final round in the Pembrokeshire Tourism 2016 – Best Access for the Disabled Visitor Award. We have been put up against three other great businesses that all deserve credit for the work put into providing access for disabled customers.

The primary reason for us reaching this stage is due to our new vessel ‘Viking Surveyor’, our first disabled access vessel. The vessel can carry up to 12 disabled passengers at any one time around Ramsey Island allowing those previously unable to go on a boat trip the opportunity to experience the island first hand.

Let us also take a chance to thank the hard work of all the staff both on and off the water that have helped make this possible. From the boys up the workshop helping firstly build and then maintain the vessel, the staff on the boats themselves delivering excellent service from the minute they start till the end of the day despite often working long and hard hours, and the staff on the shore in both the office and on the slipway helping coordinate the trips and making them work for both passengers and staff alike. Without the hard work of all of our staff, running these trips would be impossible.