Tag Archives: shipwrecks

The Athena goes into hiding

Earlier this year, the remains of the Athena were more exposed than they have been for a long time.

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The wreck of the brig Athena in May 2016

But gradually the sand level on Penrhos beach has got higher and higher and now you’d be hard pressed to even spot where the Athena lies.

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The Athena looking towards Llanddwyn May 2016

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The Athena early October 2016

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The last stubs of the Athena poking through the sand 25th October 2016

(Maybe she was fed up of being photographed so much!)

Between the storms

Following the pre-Christmas storms, Penrhos Beach looks like an apocalypse zone for shellfish: millions of their shells have been torn up and strewn across the sands.

Thousands of razor clam shells carpet the beach

Thousands of razor clam shells carpet the beach

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Quite a few of the shellfish are still alive, but they’re easy pickings for the seagulls and crows who are having a proper Yuletide feast!

One of the shellfish survivors

One of the shellfish survivors

All that was left of what must have been a giant-sized crab was its claw

All that is left of what must have been a giant-sized crab is its claw

Stunningly coloured scallop shells

Stunningly coloured scallop shells

At another part of the beach, the sand has been turned black by what looks like coal dust.

In parts, the beach has been turned black with what looks like coal dust: it makes beautiful patterns

In parts, the beach has been turned black with what looks like coal dust: it makes beautiful patterns

And further along about halfway between Llanddwyn and the wreck of the brig Athena, part of an old ship’s rigging has been brought to the surface. It looks like a giant padlock, but apparently it is where one of the cross-beams on an old wooden sailing ship would have attached to the main mast.

The underside of the curve is wood the top is an iron band attached to two straps that wrap around a wooden beam (the wood is still intact)

The underside of the curve is wood the top is an iron band attached to two straps that wrap around a wooden beam at the bottom (the wood is still intact)

Tomorrow, the storms are meant to return with a vengeance :(

The wreck of the Grampian Castle

When the tide is very low and the sea calm, you can see the wreck of the Grampian Castle rising out of the sea in Llanddwyn Bay. This is a relatively recent wreck. The vessel, a converted fishing trawler, 41m in length, ran aground on 2nd March 1987. There was talk of refloating and salvaging her, but it didn’t happen. And in January 1991 another vessel (the Sapphire) ran into the wreck and also sank.

With my camera, it just looks like a bit of a dark smudge in the distance – which is what it looks like in reality from the shore, looking towards the Morfa Dinlle area.

Grampian Castle wreck, Llanddwyn Bay

Grampian Castle wreck, Llanddwyn Bay

Grampian Castle Wreck - zoomed in

Grampian Castle Wreck – zoomed in

The grid reference of the wreck is SH4064260924 (click here to link through to a map of that reference on gridreferencefinder.com).

You can read more about the wreck at wrecksite.eu or on Coflein (the website of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales),

Both sites also link through to other wrecks in the area: it is quite a graveyard for ships and boats, with a few aircraft too. The most photographed is the wreck of the brig Athena.

The lowest predicted tides this year, 2013, will be on the 26th June and 25th July visit the National Tidal and Sea Level Facility website for more information on tides.

Update – 29th May 2013

Another photo, perhaps a bit clearer. It looks a bit like a whale :)

The wreck of the Grampian Castle, taken from the new viewing platform near the main car park in Newborough Forest

The wreck of the Grampian Castle, taken from the new viewing platform near the main car park in Newborough Forest