1.5 Hour Ramsey Island & Manx Shearwater Sunset Adventure
After an evening trip around Ramsey Island we set out towards the North Bishops to see the sun sink lower in the sky and see the magnificent shearwaters glide home from their feeding grounds. Even if you’ve done a boat trip with us before, this is a wonderful way to watch the sunset and see Whitesands Bay and St Davids head from a different perspective.
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Adult: £30 | Child: £18
St Justinians Lifeboat Station
Evenings from 18:00
This evening trip is suitable for all ages. Dogs are welcome on this trip. All trips depart from St Justinians Lifeboat Station. A reasonable level of fitness is required as there are steps down and up to board the boat. Parking is limited but due to the timetable of the Celtic Coaster, the shuttle bus is not suitable.
Expect to see
Evening sky before we turn for home
Caves & Gorges on the East side of Ramsey
Puffin – comical and much loved!
Sunset Shearwaters gliding home
Atlantic Grey Seal
Bishops & Clerks – it’s the Atlantic Ocean!
Manx Shearwater – gliding home
Ramsey & St Davids Head
Lying just off the coast opposite St Justinians is the RSPB Island of Ramsey. Surrounded by temperamental waters and tides that are some of the most challenging in the UK, on a calm day when the Sound between the mainland and the Island looks like a millpond Ramsey Island appears to be an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Turn of the tide and a change in the wind and the Sound is a maelstrom of standing waves and racing water and suddenly Ramsey is inaccessible, untouchable and majestic, standing strong against the wind, swell and seas.
Your adventure around Ramsey Island starts at the RNLI Lifeboat Station. You’ll notice the new multi million pound station being hewn into the cliffs however it’s the old tried and tested building and slip from where you’ll start your journey.
Once aboard Ocean Raven, with a helping hand down onto the foredeck to take your seat, we run through the safety brief and fit your lifejackets and set off across Ramsey Sound to the eastern side of the Island.
Our trip across the Sound is at a fair pace to counteract the tides, eddies and whirlpools and it’s in the quiet of the sheltered Eastern waters of Ramsey Island that we start our wildlife adventure.
Ramsey is home to a large colony of Atlantic Grey Seals. From spring to late autumn there are hardly any days when you won’t see a seal in the water or on a beach, or perched on a rock or in the harbour called The Waterings. They are an established colony that return year on year to breed, socialise and pup on the many beaches. Bachelor Bay might be full of the Bulls, all jostling for space, or it could be the juveniles play fighting for bigger battles to come.
We venture into the sea caves and gorges that surround the Island and often there is a seal or three in the back of the caves, maybe bottling (sleeping) or hanging out at the furthermost reaches of the caves. We love to watch and the seals like to watch us too so it’s an amicable relationship that we delight in each and every trip.
We look and listen for the females and their white fur-clad pups on the beaches in late summer and early autumn, and spot the large dark-skinned males patrolling just off shore.
On to the birds and the 120 meter high cliffs which soar upwards towards the sky on the western side of the Island. This is the exposed part of the Island with its dramatic cliffs, ancient geology and also where most of the sea birds nest. Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Fulmars jostle and hug the precipitous ledges and it’s a noisy cacophony during spring.
While looking skyward you might spot the Choughs or the Peregrine Falcons on the cliff tops. Ancient legend has it that the Peregrine Falcons were revered by Royalty as the fiercest bravest Birds of Prey in the land and were the Royal bird of choice for hunting. Today they are protected and they can often be seen keeping a beady eye on a neglected nest or two.
It’s the red legs and beak of the Chough that will flash in the sky and you’ll be sure that you’ve seen one of these rare birds. The habitat is good for Choughs on Ramsey and breeding has been successful.
Ogof Cantwr looms and we won’t spoil the story! Then as we come through the Twll y Dillyn, a narrow body of water between Ramsey Island and Ynys Berry, we’re back into the Sound and will be keeping an eye open for the porpoise. Look skyward again to seek out the ancient shapes and wings of the gannets flying high before the dive for fish. Find the diving gannets and that’s where the porpoise will be. Last season we saw these small sea mammals every day, and although not as curious about us as the dolphins, they are mesmerising to watch.
No visit to Ramsey Island would be complete without a visit to the reef called the Bitches. The Bitches and Whelps jut out from Ramsey Island into the Sound, and it’s this column of rock damming the tide in the Sound that causes the white water, rapids, eddies and whirlpools.
From the Bitches, you will spot the RNLI station at St Justinians which holds a revered position and with many a dramatic rescue occurring on its doorstep, the history of this little station is both fascinating and awe inspiring. Mike and Sam love a good story so feel free to ask them about the RNLI adventures.
Looking back to Ramsey Island for one last time before returning to St Justinians, you might be struck by the spring flowers, hues of pink and purple with heather and thrift, or bluebells in April and May.
Breeding wheatears, stonechats, meadow pipits and skylarks will be resident or visiting the Island, and you may see one of the Red Deer grazing in the distance. Ramsey has had a varied farming life and the deer remain as part of this colorful history. Derek and his sheep dog hustle the sheep onto the island and manage the many ancient stone walls bringing a small amount of order and symmetry to a very rugged, remote and sometimes inaccessible Island.
With a quick blast across the Sound, we’ll return you to the slip at St Justinians for you to disembark.
One hour aboard Ocean Raven (and it’s often more than that) is enough to take in all these sights and sounds but we love the 2 hour trips. More time to sit and watch and learn, with photograph opportunities aplenty. No two trips are ever the same so if you think you’ve seen it all, try a longer 2 hour trip with us and we’ll see what nature has in store for us. We love the geology so there’s plenty of time to argue if it’s 300 million or 600 million years old!
Use the Celtic Coaster
Adult: £30 | Child: £18
Duration: 1.5 Hour
Duration: 1.5 Hours