Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Butthole Surfers and Southern Comfort - Twll Dîn ar Ynys Echni

With the official opening of a public house on Flat Holm last week by the mayor of Cardiff, it seemed my duty to go check out the most southerly waterhole in Wales. The weather was looking good to go and after a ring around the usual suspects, Richard and I launch from Sully to head out to Flat Holm.


Sully Slipway - slap some of that cream on it's going to be hot!
After launching we quickly decided that it would be a shame not to utilise more of what great weather we had on offer today after such a terrible run of bad weather. With the forecast for increase in wind before easing off latter, we opted for a slight diversion around Steep Holm first to get a thirst up for the anticipated quenching pint. We changed our bearing and paddled out across the channel

Passing Flat Holm

Brean Down I think in the distance

Steep Holm on the horizon
After what seemed a quick hour and a quarter we arrive at Steep Holm. 


Approach to Steep Holm
The gulls are in residence, but neither of us take any direct hits from the stuka dropped guano as they let us know their concern of their newly hatched chicks. 

Screaming, sihtting, gulls

Rudder Rock at Steep Holm
We circumnavigate the island with a little explore around the small arch at the Rudder Rock before crossing over to Flat Holm.

Flat Holm lighthouse and the pub housed in the barracks to the left
A 40 minute jaunt we arrive at the southern tip of Flat Holm after crossing through the lively standing waves thing that goes on there, even managed a tiny bit of surfing.

Flat Holm lighthouse and WWII search light emplacement

An enlargement of the above clearly reveals a buried Victorian cannon
at the foot of the lighthousestripped naked of its mounting block


We land on the small pebbled beach south of the main landing area and walk up the track making a b-line for the barracks and the pub within.

Taking in the sights as we go.

Looking back to the Welsh capitol, Cardiff

Alleged Welsh comforters

Flat Holm lighthouse

Steep Holm from Flat Holm

Flat Holm Sanatorium - uniquely the only Victorian Isolation Hospital located on a British offshore island.
The last patient to die here, did so of bubonic plague in the C19.
Closed 1935.


We finally arrive at our goal, The Gull and Leek


Nice poster stuck on the wall behind the bar
where Sam  dispenses  the necessary refreshments

Richard supping on his reward
It didn't stay long in the glass
The tide has now turned, it's time to make our way back to the mainland. As we wander back to the beach we bump into Stuart, Jules and Taran who have come out to play in the sun.

Getting busy out here!


With the beginning of the ebb we leave the island to arrive back at Sully some 30 minutes later. There was no increase in wind as forecast to day, the sea state became glassy smooth and we cruised in to the Sailing Club at Sully passing al the sail boats limping along with lifeless sheets.

As I carry my boat up the slipway and look back to Flat Holm savouring that earned pint, the Ballad of Naked Man by the Butthole Surfers began playing in my ears again.

Crossing back to Sully

13Nm of island hopping fun


26/6/11

3 comments:

Stuart said...

I like the photo comments, craking. Will have to go back for a pint when I got more a bit more time and there's less naked people.

Kayak Rack Mack said...

Reminds me of Shutter Island. Is that a nude beach?

Taran Tyla said...

Alleged Welsh comforters, (LOL). Could that be for the warden?