Day 32, Wednesday 27th June… a very hot ‘rest day’ in Cardiff followed by Day 33, an even hotter sail from Cardiff to Swansea in Wales…. Thursday 28th June.

The heat wave certainly visited Cardiff on both the days we were there… a sweltering 29 deg C. No rain into the two rivers that feed the massive freshwater lagoon called Cardiff Bay ( formerly Tiger Bay but now much ‘poshed up’.

So the Cardiff Barrage locks ( there are three ) have cut their opening times to a minimum so as to not let the lagoon water out to sea. Somebody told me that because of the heat wave the two rivers were actually ‘back flooding’… the Rivers Ely and  Taff .

We spent a morning and afternoon visiting the city centre and then the old Cardiff Docks at the head of the Bay area. Again an area being rejuventated  with shops, eateries, various exhibitions, water sports, and the astonishing memorial board to a fictional death of an actor in the Torchwood series. The guy died as the series ended… in fiction… but the memorial is like a replica of the Princess Diana public outpourings of grief. The bloke did not really die for goodness sake.

We travelled in hot, old fashioned diesel trains in and out of Cardiff Central… where the hustle and bustle of city life was evident everywhere. Much new building taking place in Cardiff… high rise skyscrapers going up everywhere…. much like Bristol. Hope they remember to put the original name plates back on the roads…. they had forgotten to do this in Bristol!

We returned to the relative peace and calm of the Ely River, where Cardiff Marina was located. Here the roar of traffic overhead on a new bypass was set in contrast to a Swan family with young sygnets paddling in and out of the pontoons, plus a family of moorhens who seemed to do nothing butchase each other…. plus canoeists, paddle boarders, kayaks, and much sporting activity of strenuous types. Very peaceful though if you were just watching.

Day 33…. Thursday 28th June 2018. Another scorcher, three locks and no swing bridges… Cardiff to Swansea.

We left in the cool of a breezy Thursday morning at 8.30am from our pontoon in Cardiff Marina on the River Ely. We had checked that the Cardiff Barrage would open for us at exactly 9am. As Mr. T always does things early…. so we got there too early and were told to wait… so we did circles in Cardiff Bay.

The lock procedure was fine… the exit into a shallow sea with white horses and a 17 knot easterly wind was not. It was rough… and Mike holding on at the bow got wet…. but as he is always ‘hot’ he said it had cooled him down. Once we got away from the entrance into deeper water, evreything calmed down and we set our course westward towards the Mumbles of the Gower Peninsula.

Far out to sea, the wind died or what wind there was came over the stern in gusts. So we motored… but did not really need to… the west going tide was ferocious. By 11.45am we had done 29 n.miles in just over two and a half hours. We simply zoomed along and found ourselves south of the Mumbles far too early. T had to slow everything down as we had calculated that we would not get into Swansea Harbour by the big barrage lock on the River Tawe until at least 3pm.

So we trundled along at 5 knots instead of 11, and as the tide turned against us… this slowed the whole journey into Swansea. We made one attempt at entry up the River Tawe… but thought better of it, so reversed out and did ‘circles’. At 4.15pm which was half tide wefinally managed to gain entry…. so after two locks and no swing bridge we are now safely berthed at 5pm in Swansea Marina for the night…. and is it hot???? Yes yes and airless!

Total distance today… 49.2 n.miles, 8 hours duration.

682.0 n. miles from Eastbourne.

Tomorrow Friday… an even longer day… Swansea to Milford Haven… some 60 n.miles.



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