The Great Escape (from Tenby)

And we did all our own stunts

Somehow I’d got stuck in Tenby. Every time a paddle was planned the wind blew a houlie. Every time I walked the weather was paddle perfect. I loved the walking and plan to do more but I was beginning to feel jinxed. I’m not going to do many words this time, the pictures say it all. But I will say that it couldn’t have been a better day and I couldn’t have been in better company. Thank you pals. 

It was this sort of week. One deep depression following another.
Sue spotted a perfect weather window. A one day gap between two storms. Photo: Sue
We launched at sunrise from Tenby South Beach.
As well as Caldey Island we could see back to Worms Head on the Gower.
We had to start so early to catch the tide for Caldey Sound -but also to get past the first of the firing ranges at Penally by 8.30am. After that the peace was punctuated by the crump and thump of heavy guns at work.

Sue, Pen and Amy with Scout and Iz as faithful bank support. Photo Amy
Sunrise made the Devonian red sandstone glow
The sandstone gives way to carboniferous limestone
Wonderful slabby cliffs, caves and arches.
One beautiful beach after another. Plenty of scope for a wild camping trip here.
The Gang of Three take on the MOD, photo Amy

We stopped for a celebratory second breakfast at Freshwater East where Iz and Scout gave Sue a joyful welcome. As we left the bay we were intercepted by the next firing range safety boat. It turned out that the Penally range had tracked us all the way on their radar and told the Castlemartin lads to watch out for us, a dangerous bunch of crazies. Sue wasn’t going to stand for any nonsense. “This woman” she said, pointing at me “is trying to paddle round Wales for charity. So why do you keep shooting at her and making it harder?” I don’t wear hearing aids when I paddle so I had no idea what she’d said except that they kept claiming to want to give us a tenner. They looked terrified of us, especially Sue. But they wanted to donate to our charities. “I love you!” I said, like someone deranged, several times. Would they donate to our charities? Would they shoot us? As it turned out it was “no” to both questions. No tenner transpired…though there’s still time lads. And no, they wouldn’t shoot us but we couldn’t get past Castlemartin range. We would have to go as far as Broad Haven South and double back. Including the crossing from Worms Head this is the fourth range we’ve come to in this area. Apparently the sound of the Castlemartin range can go on till late at night and can make the houses shake. It’s incongruous in an area of peace and natural beauty where people come to holiday. But it made our escape from Tenby rather exciting. Steve Mcqueen didn’t have to face the big guns!

Church Rock affects people in different ways. Photo Amy
Cake can also affect people in different ways. Photo Amy
Mazes of caves to explore. Another good reason to go back.
Nothing beats an Iz and Scout welcome. Photo Amy

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