Paddy's Pool - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy, Plunkett and the Fish Pond

Wait a second… FISH POND? I thought the boys were off to Senegal!

Apparently not. They were all set to go, but as they headed down the coast, they were won over to the idea of a quiet day at the seaside. Then…
Mysterious Building by the Sea - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Hey, what’s that weird-looking building in among the rocks?”

Once again, the Beasties’ curious natures get the better of them and they have to at least go a little closer! Fortunately, the next thing they stumble upon is this sign, which tells them everything they need to know.
A Famous Fish Pond! H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesSold! As we know, the boys can’t resist an aquarium… And how often do you get to visit a famous fish pond?

Especially if it also looks like a castle…
Portlogan's Fish Pond - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesLet’s go inside!

Portlogan's Fish Pond - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAha! Nice one, Plunkett… You’ve found the fish pond!

This pool started as a natural inlet from the sea, but it was enlarged by the local laird (landowner) between 1788-1800, with the help of a few French prisoners of war. Look, the date of completion is right here on the rocks!
Fish Pond Rocks - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesWhat did he want a pool for? Well, in the dark days before the fridge-freezer, a “fish larder” like this one meant that the family could keep sea fish handy and fresh all year round!

These days, it’s enjoying a new role as a marine life centre. Paddy can’t wait to make more fishy friends! But wait, what lies at the end of this rather spooky tunnel?
Tunnel at the Fish Pond - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Smugglers! It has to be smugglers!”
“Not quite, Paddy. It’s a nursery!”
Fish Nursery - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIn here, fish are raised from teeny fry to adult size… Then they can move to the main pool.

Back outside, it’s time to get up close and personal with the grownups!
Fish Pond Friends - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesWow, they’re friendly! They must love the camera… Or could it be that they know when John the guide is coming around with his bucket of fish food?

After the fish have had their lunch, the boys explore a little further afield. Just around the corner, Paddy sees this.
Paddy's Dream Home - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIs it the perfect Beastie-sized house? Not quite.

“Plunkett, look! It’s the old bathing hut!”
“What’s that?”
“It’s where people used to change before going in for a swim!”
Plunkett takes a moment to read the signpost.
“Um, Paddy? It says this was for women only, so maybe we should…”

Too late!
Paddy's Pool - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesLuckily, the days of segregated sea bathing here are long gone, and Paddy can enjoy a view of the shallow pool without outraging anyone’s delicate sensibilities. He almost looks like he’d like to go for a dip himself!
Paddy at the Port Logan Bathing Hut - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesLook! There’s even a fireplace inside, so getting dried off afterwards wouldn’t be a problem!
Port Logan Bathing Hut - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPlunkett likes it too, despite his initial reservations.
Paddy and Plunkett Move In - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Maybe we should stay here for the winter. I reckon they’d like a pair of resident Beasties!”

What’s this? Are the intrepid twosome considering a retirement from the adventuring life? You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to find out, because there’s a new Beastie waiting in the wings to meet you next Tuesday!

See you then!

Under the Sea in Anglesey!

Hello, Beastie friends! We’re joining Paddy and Plunkett again today, for an adventure with a bit more of an aquatic theme than last week’s! To set the scene, we’ll meet up with the boys at the tidal race in the Menai Strait… And what’s this? A rare photobombing by Plunkett?Plunkett at the Menai Strait, Anglesey - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Menai Strait is the narrow stretch of water that separates the island of Anglesey from the Welsh mainland. It looks calm enough here, doesn’t it? But strong and ever-changing tidal currents make it highly unpredictable and tricky to cross. In the past, this served the locals well – Anglesey was one of the last refuges of the Druids, at a time when they were being displaced all over Britain by the arrival of the Romans.

But today, the lads will not be seeking out ancient Druid strongholds – however much Paddy might want to. Instead, we’re heading to… The Anglesey Sea Zoo!

Beasties find it hard to resist an aquarium – as regular readers will remember from Explorer Beastie’s travels in Germany last summer. Paddy and Plunkett can’t wait to make some fishy friends themselves! But first of all, let’s visit the Lobster Hatchery.
Beasties at the Lobster Hatchery - Sea Zoo Anglesey - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Lobster Hatchery is one of several conservation projects based here in Anglesey Sea Zoo. Overfishing in the 1980s meant that local wild lobster populations took a huge hit, so the Hatchery is here to help them get back on their spiny little feet. The main focus of their work is a captive breeding programme, but research and education are also important aspects of what they do.

Paddy is delighted to meet the lobsters… But Plunkett suspects that they’re more likely to eat him than he is to eat them.
Plunkett Vs Lobster - Anglesey - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
This is probably more your scene, Plunkett… Watching the fish from the quayside!
Plunkett Ponders the Fish - Sea Zoo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Meanwhile, Paddy has taken a trip to the Moon!
Paddy and the Moon Jellies - Anglesey Sea Zoo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, moon jellies, if you’re going to be particular about it… But they do have an otherworldly look to them, don’t they? He could have watched them for hours – which is unusual for Paddy!

Plunkett is nice and relaxed now too, now that he’s been gazing at the gently waving arms of the sea anemones for a few minutes. Aaaahhhhhh!
Plunkett and the Anemones - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd although Paddy was momentarily distracted by the starfish that was taking a stroll across the front of the tank…
Strolling Starfish - Sea Zoo Anglesey - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… It wasn’t long before he found a new way to pass the time – playing hide and seek with the fish!
Paddy plays hide and seek - Anglesey Sea Zoo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut what’s that stirring in the hidden depths of the aquarium? Uh-oh!
Octopus Hug - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesWill the boys be able to wriggle free and swim to safety? Or will they remain imprisoned in the darkest depths of Davy Jones’ locker? You’ll have to tune in next week to find out!

See you then!