Storm Glider Goes North 1: Portishead (marina) to Oxwich Bay (overnight anchorage) to Dale (overnight mooring) Milford Haven

Portishead sea lock is the somewhat daunting exit and entry point for yachts using Portishead Marina. Fortunately there is a floating pontoon inside the lock to make tying up and managing your ropes a whole lot easier. You are strictly monitored and controlled by the lock keeper far above!


Entering the Portishead sea lock from the sea. Floating pontoons to tie up to which rise and fall with you in the lock.

As you can see this is a pretty deep lock, needed to deal with the second largest tidal range in the world at 13 to 15 metres.

10.5 meter lock!
Sea lock gates closing

Next, to lift the boats up to the level of the marina, just add water …

Upper gate sluices opening
Full blast

The first night after leaving Portishead we anchored in Oxwich Bay- no pics. Then onwards to Dale, Pembrokeshire, Wales where we called ahead and tied up to Dale Yacht Club’s anchored pontoon a little off-shore.

Tied up to Dale Yacht Club’s floating pontoon

Then a quick motor ashore to meet up with others who took the plunge to retire early! Thank you for driving round S & D!

Dale’s floating pier

Nothing available at the yacht club this early in the season so we had to make do locally:

Local ale at The Griffin
Or try the summer ale Cwrw Haf. Thank you Evan Evans!

There is an interesting (for me) Welsh – Shona pun hidden away in there as beer in Welsh is Cwrw (said as Koo Ru) and Kuru is the short form of Sekuru (grandfather) in Shona. So if you have a Welsh grandfather, nicknamed Kuru, who likes beer… Be thankful you are not in my head!

Storm Glider on the anchored pontoon at Dale, facing the rest of Milford Haven

Troutbeck (School) to Nyanga to Troutbeck (School): there and back again.

This is a bit hard core, but it will make you feel just like a hobbit on a very long journey. 

Turns out to be 28 kms of walking and 900+ metres of combined ascending. The vertical height difference being 500m between the school and Nyangani Park. 3.5 hours on the way down and 4 hours on the way back. The longest stretch was the flattish section of the whole valley, National Park and Bepe Park, which seems to take half-an-hour longer than it ‘should’.

Plenty of Shona stone work: terracing and walls all through the upper reaches of the valley, with one amazing find – an intact rectangular hole through to the tunnel underneath; just like the one in the poorly named ‘Shona Pit Structures’ in the main National Park. 

Fairly near the top of the valley looking down across the National Park to Bepe Park and Nyanga
A bright green tree in amongst dry brush and aloes
One of several side roads – made by the timber loggers I assume
Towards Bepe Park and Nyamakanga Mountain
Nyanga Rock
The end of the National Park and the start of Bepe

After visiting in Nyanga you make the brave decision to walk back up!

Through the trees to Nyamakanga
Slit above Shona tunnel (there is one in the National Park exhibition)
Top section – getting to the lay-by / viewpoint which is the jumping off point for your route finding down
From Troutbeck lay-by / view point at the top of the valley down through the upper reaches
The National Park, Bepe Park and Nyanga
Entire walk (north not up)
The Garmin version

Walks in Nyanga

Here are links to four or five walks that you should consider seriously in order to fully explore the town of Nyanga. There is much more to offer than stopping to pick up provisions.

Viewed from Troutbeck

First: Nyamhuka Hill. One hour at most will get you up and back with some of the best photos ever on your phone or camera. I’m sure the special ‘selfie’ cameras will be in use too!

Nyamhuka and Bepe Park
Swinging round towards ‘the government’ residential area and the Connemara – World’s View escarpment

Second: Bepe Peak. Three hours or more. Fairly easy to get up, if you are fit, from the end of the Bepe Park road.

Escarpment from Bepe peak
Nyamhuka 2 and Nyamakanga Mountain from Bepe Peak

Third: The adventure day – Nyamakanga Mountain. Five hours. Route finding required through the lower sections on the way up. Just look at the pictures though:

Walk four will take you up from Nyanga onto the escarpment in the Connemara area. Slight scramble required at the top.

Aloes at the first plateau. Nyamakanga Mountain beyond – centre left
As seen from the first plateau – the steep section ending in a short scramble to reach the plateau
and the view back down (Rupurara in the centre – middle distance)

Then there is Nyanga Rock. One for you to figure out.

Enjoy! Summary page for these walks.

Nyangwe Fort, Nyanga National Park

Look-out tower

The lesser visited, far more extensive and much wilder of the two forts on offer in the National Park. The path in is a bit of a bear – retract / pull in your wing mirrors (medium wattle encroaching the side of the track) and raise the suspension / use a high clearance vehicle (small wattle and scrub down the middle of the track will brush off the mud). The car park is a single track turning circle which could be awkward if more than one party or car want to leave early.

Recently trodden down human ‘pathways’ were the only clue to a tough-going, bumpy, wide circumnavigation of the obvious walls starting at the west side. Some loop holes remaining, with flat lintels above – see pics. Looked like additional walls or terraces submerged by vegetation or earth on this western side. Some exotic plants including an unavoidable manic succulent type thing underfoot and these yellow flowers everywhere.

“loop holes”
Someone liked their geometry – equilateral, right angled, square.
Nyangwe to Nyangani
Lintel at Nyangwe fort
Nyangwe panorama