Located on the northern entrance to the Milford Haven Estuary, lies the peninsula and village of Dale. Bray Lake have been making bi-annual trips here for years as the sheltered bay is perfect for those inland sailors wanting to take their new found skills to the seas.
Seven years ago that was me, now however, it still serves as a relaxing weekend break away from my workload, and a great venue to remind myself some of the skills learned that I’ve let lapse a little in recent months for the house, or the garden, or the … blah, blah (you get the idea).
After news of friends ripping it up in Ireland the previous week, the forecast lagged slightly from what was promised to blow through, but there was still enough to play with. Kit was packed up for a Thursday night arrival in Dale with enough time for a bite to eat and a pint in the pub on arrival and making the most of it.
Friday saw a bit of a shoreline dead zone and interesting swirl in the bay due to the wind direction, but those brave or foolhardy enough to brake the cover of the headland managed to get some good runs in on a sizeable sail. I know I did, and I knew it. Man did that hurt – how long had it been? Longer than I had initially thought by the feel of it. Come dusk though I was last off the water (as usual), but eventually made The Griffin to recharge the batteries, or so to speak. A new landlord and new menu made for a welcome change, and plenty of banter to entertain.
We’re never short of a story or few amongst the diversity that comes with being a Bray Lake Member. And whilst hopes were high when checking weather apps, Saturday conditions saw more of the same so no rush out onto the water was needed. Some choose to head out with the walking boots in search of the latest arrival of seal pups, or went to check out the nearby prep for the film shoot rolling into town, whilst the rest of us headed to the café for more banter, coffee and maybe a cake before all getting together again for an afternoon on the water. Still a bit achy whilst hanging off my 7.5m, so obviously still need to get more time out on the water when back home or maybe it’s just my age catching up with me. Having hit 40 the previous week, and Candice doing the same the following, our 10 strong party roped in old friend and West Wales local Annie to head to Dale Yacht Club for a good meal and a spot of champers (thanks all for the champagne) in celebration or commiseration for the night.
All of a sudden Sunday was here, last chance for a few hours play before loading the car again and hitting the M4. So long Dale, we’ll be back again in Spring.
Contributed by: Gavin Lambourne