Our experience coasteering in North Wales, Porth Ruffydd

By Rose and Karla, student marine biologists Bangor University

During our coasteering experience with Matt, we saw the vast scenery of Wales along with diverse geology and wildlife. Our journey consisted of climbing over and across rocks, involving keeping good hand holds and footing on small cliffs, jumping from different heights into water, and swimming through small currents, deeper waters further from the rocks and even swimming in a cave!

Below will show our experience climbing, jumping and swimming in our coasteering journey in North Anglesey

During our coasteering experience with Matt, we saw a vast scenery along with diverse geology and wildlife. This moment was captured as we were preparing to start our coasteering journey. This entailed correctly fitting our safety equipment (i.e., wetsuits, helmet and buoyancy aid).

After traversing across the rocky landscape pictured behind us, we got to our first jump into the sea. This gave us our first taste of the water aspect of the day and it was such an experience to be emersed in such a breath taking coastline. We swam through some beautifully clear waters along the rocks and exited the water.

Continuing on we got onto the next portion of our journey, we adapted to learning to navigate the rocks by taking the path along the rocks using the right techniques for selecting hand holds and correct footing. As we got further along, the landscape opened up to show more of the coastline, giving an amazing atmosphere and view.

At this point in our climb, we found our path to be steeper than the last however, the route through was easy to find. In this photo, Matt is showing me the correct footing on the rock.

After jumping back into the water, we had a chance to take in the view as we swam through some deeper waters. We had clement weather conditions during our coasteering journey which meant that we found ourselves swimming through calm waters throughout.

We encountered such an amazing array of wildlife during our time with Matt. This is an example of one of the jellyfish we saw, we predominantly saw moon jellyfish (as pictured here). These were one of the highlights of the trip for me as they were so fascinating to look at! Also, a bonus was that it’s easy to avoid being stung even when up relatively close (still with taking caution of the tentacles which lengths depend on the species.)

A large aspect of this coasteering route I enjoyed was the ratio of swimming to climbing and walking. While climbing, you are able to go at your own pace across the rocks and then when they get flatter you are able to scramble onto them from the water and walk along them. This gave us chances along the day to either rest for a minute and took at some wildlife or the view or to catch a breather and tie a shoelace.

As we traversed across more rocky terrain and jumped into some more water we could experience my next highlight of the coasteering route we took – the currents! As the waters were calmer at this time, the currents seemed to be weaker however, were still amazing to swim through, especially in the parts with higher kelp densities; we were able to glide through it like ice.

Here is Karla with a piece of the kelp while we were swimming through the shallow waters before scrambling onto more rocks.