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Bardsey island turkeys
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On Saturday, Barry and I paddled to Bardsey island at the end of the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. It's one of our favourite places to paddle and we've got to know the only family who live there all year round. Steve, Joanna, Rachel and Ben Porter have spent just over a year as the resident farmers - during the summer the other few houses are occupied by local lobster fishermen, RPSB bird wardens, National Trust representatives, a resident artist and many visitors. In the winter, it's just them, cattle, sheep, turkeys, ducks, seals and birds. The local lobster fisherman is employed by the post office to deliver their mail by boat once a week, but in the Winter there are often 3 week stretches when it's too stormy to get out to the island. It's only a couple of kilometres from the mainland but the tide flies through the sound at up to 6 knots and it can be really rough. That's why the Welsh name for the island is Ynys Enlli - island in the currents.

We try to visit Bardsey at least every couple of months and we are always given a warm welcome, a cup of tea and often a piece of home made cake! In return we take out some fresh fruit, a weekend newspaper and some other treats. We've been talking about staying overnight for months and finally we spend a lovely evening with the Porters, eating local beef, chatting and going for a star-lit evening walk. Slightly strangely, we also watched the X-factor on telly!!! The next morning we watched the Porters catch some of their turkeys for Christmas gifts. If we get a chance to go back to Bardsey before Christmas then I'm going to bring one of the poor turkeys back in my kayak and have a Bardsey free range turkey for Christmas dinner. At least it will have had a happy life!


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