Mentro 10, everyone else went to Glastonbury, I went to Rhossili. 27th June 2015.

Mentro 10, Rhossili

Last night I surfed Sker Beach, it was heavy, messy, cloudy and wild, the way only surfing deep in a Welsh nature reserve can be. What a difference a day makes. Today I rocked up to a sunny Rhossili Bay, gentle onshore wind and that substantial swell that is pumping in at the moment.

June Rhossili

Almost perfect conditions and a lot of fun. Perfect for the new short board. I went really colourful when I got this one.

DimExcuses Pro Pig

The water is really warm now, breaking through 14 degrees C today. No excuse not to get in.

Rhossili Summer Surf

This was the Mentro 10 surf in my #Mentro21 project. Hopefully this swell will hold and we all will be able to get some summer waves, DimExcuses.

Mentro 9, the Keeper of the Bulldog, meets the Keeper of the Dunes. Sker Beach, June 2015.

Keeper of the Dunes meets the Keeper of the Bulldog

This is a quick update on the #Mentro21 project to surf 21 times this year. It has been very much Rhossili dominated recently, so I wanted to mix it up a bit. Occasionally working in Kenfig National Nature Reserve puts me a mere half hour walk (barefoot in a wetsuit) from Sker Beach, the most eastern corner of Kenfig Sands, Bridgend, Wales.

Surf Keepers

It is just around from Rest Bay, isolated by Sker Point and Pink Bay, but receiving the same surf as Rest Bay. The long walk through the Dunes ensuring only a handful of surfers surfng the Beach.

It was a good swell, at least 2 foot, but blown about by the onshore wind, heavy but rideable. There are what I can only call pits of boulders in the sand which makes for tricky walking out but apart from that it is a pretty much a sandy beach.

Keepers Rockingin the Free World

I have no photos of Sker, because I wasn’t going to leave my camera on the Beach when I surfed. But I did get some photos with the keeper of the Dunes, apparently modelled on Gemma McLean, former Bridgend Sustainably Officer. Even if you don’t get to the beach, Kenfig is well worth a visit, one of Bridgend’s finest green spaces, and certainly at the top of #MyGreenSpace favourites. Another day, another Beach, nine down, twelve to go, I better get on it, DimExcuses.

#MyGreenSpace is Yellow Today, Kenfig National Nature Reserve, June 2015.

Kenfig NNR

In Bridgend we are well into the #MyGreenSpace campaign, helping people discover and share the green spaces important to them. So with a sunny day in June I find myself in Bridgend’s jewel in the crown green space, Kenfig National Nature Reserve.

Keeper of the Dunes

It is a massive sand dune reserve, with spectacular lake, salt marsh and expansive beach. Even the lake has a little beach too, “Hey girls, you are on Molly’s Beach, watch out for the bulldog”!

Molly's Beach

But as I was accompanied by the frenzied frenchton Molly, apparently it was about the massive field of buttercups you can find there at the moment.

Buttercup Molly

A very yellow #MyGreenSpace. So why not go to the #MyGreenSpace section of our Natural Neighbourhoods Website to discover and share your favourite Bridgend Green Space, DimExcuses.

Mentro 8. A Misty Midsummer Night’s Surf, Rhossili.

A misty midsummer night's surf

It seemed like the perfect plan, the second longest day, Gower’s furthest west beach, a 9:40pm sunset and high tide six minutes later. But Welsh weather isn’t a fan of perfect plans and this June continues to disappoint, as we headed back to Rhossili Bay for Mentro 8 in the #Mentro21 project. Molly and Sharon were the ready to rock, if you want to roll, surf patrol.

Ready to Rock if you want to Roll

But we arrived to this, with those who had access to weather reports making alternative plans.

Sea mist

The second longest day was set in heavy cloud, which was then hidden by a thick sea mist. Remember when Rhossili Down used to be there?

We have lost Rhossili Down!

Undeterred I was joined by Luke and Hannah as we made our way into mist to venture down into the sea below. Sharon, Molly, Dennis and Susan stayed on the cliff with now almost zero visibility. Dane from Finn Surfing (up and coming Swansea surfwear brand) popped over for a chat and wished us well before we set off.

Misty Wormshead

We got two hours in with Luke and Hannah getting a lot of bodyboard wave time. As we walked up the mist rose a bit with us, and for a while we could see Wormshead.

Misty Gower Surf

But it started to decend again and our hope of seeming the legendary Wormshead sunset were lost, along with our Midsummer Night’s Dreams.

Wormshead

The nights maybe shortening but I have now added catching a Wormshead Sunset to the #Mentro21 goals. We will catch one, DimExcuses.

Who wants to do the 10k twice? Swansea Half Marathon 2015

Swansea Half Marathon

Me, Sharon and Molly are big fans of the Swansea Bay 10k. I even wrote a km by km guide to running the Swansea  Bay 10k that you can read here.  So I was quite excited to get down Swansea bay this Sunday (14/06/15) to see the second Swansea Half Marathon.

Swansea Half Marathon 2015

That is almost two 10K put together, 12 miles!  It takes in the whole of the Swansea Bay 10k route and a whole lot more.

Banana Man

Molly, Sharon and I where at our usual spot under the speed camera on the Mumbles road on the way down and running over to the Blackpill bridge to catch the runners on the way back.

DimExcuses Half Marathon

I have been spectating there since 2008! You can read about the 2014 Swansea Bay 10k here, and the 2013 Swansea Bay 10k here.

Molly Half Marathon

Even though this was the Swansea Half Marathon there were lots of familiar faces from the blogs above and some new faces. Anwen Davies and the Superman T-Shirts team seemed in good spirits! There was a definite superhero theme this year.

Anwen Davies

Swansea University’s Chris Marshall was also making the jump up to half marathon with ease too.

Chris Marshall

There was a crocodile…

Crocodile

..and Bananaman chasing the previous banana!

Bananaman

Morriston Actif Running Group were represented, you can just see them coming in to view here.

Swansea Half

The actif runners hiding behind this orange runner, Rhys has been training them well.

Morriston Actif

Hold up a finger for every mile done so far ladies.

Rhys' Ladies

And there they go.

Get Actif

Swansea Bay 10k Legend Sandra Mitchell, infamous for falling asleep in a porter-loo for an hour during the Paris Marathon was managing to stay awake today.

Sandra Mitchell

Swansea Bay 10k pace-setter Mark Gosney was one of the first local runners back across Blackpill Bridge.

Blackpill Swansea Half  Marathon

Fast as always.

Mark Gosney

Andrew Wade, the Bishopston Boy now living in the USA, made a trip back across the pond to run in his hometown’s second half marathon.

Andrew Wade

Chris Jones was almost too fast for my camera, but I just got him. He is now probably sleeping the race off in his VW camper.

Chris Jones

Anwen and the Superhero Tees weren’t far behind.

Anwen

10k regular Chris Kent leads this pack across the bridge even though he has been struggling with injury. Eye of the Tiger stuff.

Chris Kent

Tony Henebery ditched is usual 10k fancy dress for this more serious distance.

Tony

An epic battle was taking place between the crocodile and Bananaman for fancy dress supermacy at the Swansea Half Marathon.

Actif

And here comes Rhys’ Ladies from Morriston Actif. Caroline, Tracy and Sarah from Sharon’s Running Group.

Actif

And there they go again. Spot the Boston Terrier.

Blackpill Hill

A bird of prey was starting to circle over Sandra Mitchell and the back runners.

Vultures Circling

Sandra smashing that Blackpill hill.

Sandra

What a morning! The second Swansea Half Marathon was a massive success. Loads of runners, loads of spectators and a great atmosphere. Who is running it next year, DimExcuses?

 

Summer Finally Arrives in Gower. Pobbles Bay, 10th June 2015.

View of Three Cliffs from Pobbles Bay

After a poor start to June summer has finally shown up. Sharon, Molly and I are on annual leave so we were lucky enough to get down Pobbles Bay, which was shining in the sun and enjoying a little surf on high tide. It was very different to when I took photos the last time I was here on high tide, which was on a spring evening.

Pobbles High Tide

Molly was enjoying the sun and climbing all over rocks, having a good look at the sea. The water was spectacularly clear.

Molly on the Rocks

She has no fear on the limestone cliffs…

Bulldog on the Rocks

…and is equally at home in the sea.

Swimming French Bulldog

Whatever it takes to get her ball.

Water Ball

Another successful fetch.

Fetch

The west cliffs of Pobbles Bay give you a very different perspective on the famous three cliffs of Three Cliffs Bay.

Three Cliffs

Molly was having a good look.

Three Cliffs Bulldog

She spotted these to kayakers making the most of the high tide in the sun. What a spectacular place for a paddle under the three cliffs.

Kayak Watch

Molly and I got a quick AONB selfie.

Molly and Me.

 Sharon and her mum were also soaking up the sun.

Sharon & Susan

While this horse and rider were taking a dip to cool off.

Horse Riding Gower

Pobbles Bay is spectacular on high tide, but it is amazing with a few waves and the sun too.

Pobbles Bay, Gower

Almost enough to make you jump in for a swim.

Pobbles Bay

It has taken me a couple of days to write this as I have been out enjoying the sun, but today the drizzle is back, but I am sure the sun will make another appearence this June and when it does we will be out and about again, DimExcuses.

 

Pwll Du Bay, Gower. DimExcuses Beach Guide

Pwll Du

This secret South Gower beach is a locals’ favorite. In a picturesque secluded cove the beach is dominated by its huge storm beach of limestone pebbles. There have been many Pwll Du Posts on this blog.

DSCN1381

Pwll Du Bay is quite difficult to find and walk to. It does not have good access and isn’t suitable for wheelchairs or children’s buggies, yet the people who live in the white cottages still get down there in their land-rovers. It is great for a family day out, but take what you need as there are no facilities of any kind.

Molly Climbing

Nestled along the All Wales Coastal Path, Pwll Du can be found between Brandy Cove and Hunts Bay, when travelling west from Caswell, Langland and Mumbles.

Pwll Du Molly

It can be accessed from East Cliff in Pennard and through Bishopston Valley via Pennard Church or the ford under St. Teilo’s church in Kittle. All those routes are difficult to follow and long, with the potential for getting lost. The best way to get there is to park off Pyle Corner in Bishopston (Grid Ref: SS580882). This is a residential area, so please park respectfully (Postcode SA3 3HA). There is also a bus from the Quadrant in Swansea to Pennard that stops in Bishopston.

Darth Mannion Pwll Du

There is a good twenty minute walk down Pwll Du Lane to get to Pwll Du Head. Do not try and drive down there, it is a dead end with no parking and barely any turning.

Brandy Cove to Caswell Bay

There is a great view from Pwll Du Head over both Pwll Du and Brandy Cove. There is then a rocky lane down to the beach.

Pwll Du Ford

The beach itself can be accessed by crossing the ford or taking the bridge and entering the beach between the two houses.  The river they cross is the bravest river run in the Darth Mannion Beach & River Challenge.

River Run

As well as being a river run, Pwll Du is also perfect for sensible running or a proper good old fashioned Gower walk.  It is a haven for boats in the summer, and people stay the afternoon on the sand after coming in from boats moored in the bay.

Pwll Du Beach

It is very sheltered and a real suntrap on a sunny day. A real gem hidden on the South Gower coast. A definite essential Gower visit next time the sun is out, DimExcuses.

Mentro 7, Windy with Extra Jellyfish. Rhossili, Gower 7th June 2015.

Windy Rhossili There is a seasonal tipping point when the seawater shifts to a steady increase in temperature. The sea has a high thermal inertia, it reacts to changes in temperature slowly. The winter surfers, and us spring surfers try to hurry it along, discarding gloves and longing for summer suits and no boots. Wormshead Sunset Finally that day has come. The sun came out for great June day but the air is still unseasonably cool. I headed for a small and windy Rhossili Bay hoping the headland might shield me from this cheaky wind that was making conditions messy. It was much better than it looked with the messy conditions making some interesting peaky waves. But the great thing was that I was comfortable in my summer suit and no boots. Rhossili Bay This strange June had another trick up its selve. Literally swarms of large barrel jellyfish have been washing up on the beach, I saw five just walking in, and much to the worry of my now bare feet they are still floating in the shallows. They apparently (hopefully) don’t have much sting dead. They are more of a psychological worry than an actual risk, so embrace this tipping point into warm waters and get in, DimExcuses.

Windy Three Cliffs Bay and Pobbles at Low Tide.

Windy Three Cliifs, Gower

This June isn’t bringing summer to us just yet. Though better than last weekend, it is still cool and windy on Gower. Undeterred Molly and I set out for our usual loop of Three Cliffs Bay and Pobbles Bay.

Adventures of Molly at Three Cliffs

What was different today was that it was a very low tide and we were there right on the turn.  Which meant that we could drop into the valley and walk along the river.

Three Cliffs Valley

More importantly it meant we could get through the cave in Three Cliffs to enter Pobbles Bay.

Molly in the Seaweed

The low tide let us get right out to under the Shirecoombe headland, where Molly got to explore the seaweed. We are off all week so hopefully we will do some more DimExcuses Beach Guides and maybe add some surfs to our #Mentro21 Project. So keep an eye out, DimExcuses.