The next passage took careful planning. The passage round St Davi'd Head offers the choice of going the long, easy, way round - outside the islands - or going closer in through the sounds. The latter is shorter, but involves dealing with some very strong tides and associated overfalls.
I left Fishguard timed to arrive at Ramsey Sound (between St David's Head and Ramsey Island) at the end of the south going tide. This proved harder to achieve than I'd expected - the tide along the north coast of the peninsula was much stronger than expected, and there was little wind. I found myself alternately sailing at 2kts or motoring at 5kts - not good for diesel engines to do prolonged periods at low revs. I managed to arrive at the right time.
During the approach to Ramsey Sound I had an escort of dolphins
As promised by the pilot book, the tide dropped from a blistering 4-5kts to less than 1kt as I got into the sound itself. It was then easy to manoeuvre around the mid-channel "Horse Rock" and "The Bitches" - a reef protruding into the sound.
Emerging from the sound, I had some remaining south going tide to take me down across St Bride's Bay to pass west of Skomer Island and through Broad Sound towards Milford Haven. For this last part of the passage, the pilot book's advice didn't work so well as I fought the tide round Skomer and through Broad Sound. I didn't mind too much as I was able to sail at least some of it, and the views were spectacular. I was very glad that I'd opted to go to Fishguard, rather than the longer passage direct to Milford Haven form Ireland.
Once into Milford Haven, I anchored for the night in the bay off Dale. This was smooth as a millpond as I anchored, but kicked up a bit of a swell overnight.
Log of this passage