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Thousand Islands Ramsey Island Tour - St Davids  

This eco-holiday tour looks at the Thousand Island Tours that run from St Davids in Pembrokeshire out to Ramsey Island and beyond. Whilst the Thousand Islands company runs a variety of boat tours, we focus particularly on their rib-ride adventure which runs between Easter and the end of October.

The boats are jet-powered inshore life-boat type boats which carry around 16 people and two crew. The fact that there are no propellers allows the boats to go right in to the caves and close to shore without fear of getting stuck.

The trip starts either at Whitesands Bay or at the St. Justinians Lifeboat Station depending on the time of year, and returns around two, wet, exciting hours later. The initial period is a blast over the sound of Ramsey over to the island. If the tide is running correctly then the skipper will often turn the engine off half way and drift down the sound with the hope of spotting the resident porpoise which follow the strong currents which run through the channel fishing as they go. These small cetaceans are often followed by gannets who use the porpoise as a guide to where the fish are. If the tide is between high and low water then the bitches are in full action. The bitches are a series of rocks which jut out at a right-angle to Ramsey Island in the direction of the mainland. When the tide is running over them there is a large drop between one side of the bitches and the other, creating a large rapids which are great fun to whiz up and down.

Once out of there the ride continues with a trip through the end of the island where you can spot the many different types of birds which cling to the rock edges or fly around off shore. These include Kittywakes, Guillemots, Choughs, the odd Puffin and often perched at the top of the cliffs they’ll be Buzzards and the occasional Peregrine Falcon.

Further round the back of the island are a series of storm beaches. Storm beaches are steeply raked beaches which are covered in large pebbles which absorb the impact of the waves that roll in off the Atlantic. From the end of July onwards the seals come in and give birth at the back of these storm beaches. Often you can see the bright-white young seals lounging around unable to move due to the amount of fat they have put on whilst suckling from their mothers. They time the events so that the when the pups are ready to enter the water at the end of September the water is at its warmest so the young seals are given the best chance to survive.

The trip continues round the north end of the island; still on the look out for dolphins and seals in the water whist at the same time getting as close the island as possible. Again depending on the tides and the time left the boats will head back out into Ramsey sound before heading home to try and catch another glimpse at the Porpoise or possibly even a whale.

All in all one of the best two hours you will spend on any holiday, anywhere. Just don’t expect to stay dry!  - Click Here http://www.thousandislands.co.uk/ for more information.

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