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Stranded Boats in Dulas Bay

Capturing the sunset at Dulas Bay in September 2013

I’m currently working in North Wales for the next 12 months and only get limited free time after work to go out and enjoy the stunning welsh countryside that I have become extremely fond of over the last few months.

One of the places that I would love to start exploring is the Snowdonia National Park, but because of my limited time constraints im often drawn to the easier accessible locations on the North Coast. North Wales has some a fantastic coast and just recently I have done a little exploring Talacre Beach, Llandudno, Puffin Island, Beaumaris, The Great Orm, Holy Island, Newborough Forest and Dulas Bay.

Dulas Bay

Dulas Bay is located on the East coast of Anglesey and I only found its beauty when I was browsing on Flickr to see interesting places to visit and try to photograph.

Dulas Bay Map

Once over the Menai Bridge and into Anglesey the traffic slows down, the roads get narrower and the countryside starts to reveal its beauty, with the occasional glimpse of the coast you get excited about exploring the coastline and to see what’s around the next corner!

The bay was fairly straight forward to find, I did a little map appreciation before I left my house, and an hour later I had arrived at Dulas, where I quickly checked my map again and drove down a narrow single lane with houses dotted hear and there, the hedges were over grown and the lack of parking didn’t go un-noticed.

I have no idea how old this old boat is, but it fascinates me, wondering where it has been and how it came to rest here.
I have no idea how old this old boat is, but it fascinates me, wondering where it has been and how it came to rest here.

The weather forecast wasn’t great to be honest, but I knew the tide was out as I had checked on-line prior to going using UKHO
One of my new year resolutions for 2013 was to get out whatever the weather and im glad I did, as I left the house it was a little overcast and I wasn’t sure if it was worth the hours drive, but I decided to go and at least do a recce for a future visit none the less.

As I drove to the end of the lane there was a quaint cottage situated on the left before the estuary I parked my car just past it and put on my boots and admired the changing light. I could see one of the boats in the middle of the estuary but I could also see lots of sand and sea water between me and the boat!

I decided I hadn’t drove an hour to be beaten by 6 inches of water I jumped though the water trying to avoid the deeper parts but it didn’t work, I could feel the water in my socks, oh well…

I quickly set-up as I wanted to capture this shot as the light was behind me casting some amazing front lighting onto the wreck, notice the great shadows on the small plants in the foreground.

One of the stranded boats in Dulas Bay, North Wales with some fabulous front lighting as the sun starts to set behind me.
One of the stranded boats in Dulas Bay, North Wales with some fabulous front lighting as the sun starts to set behind me.

I decided to stay shooting this boat, there is actually 2 stranded boats in Dulas Bay the other one though is situated along the tree line that can be seen in the background of the above image it was not getting as much favorable light and was more shaded due to the angle of the sun and the hills behind me.

I stayed there for the rest of the evening waiting for the sun to set and I could tell it was going to be a nice sunset as the clouds started to turn a lovely pink hue, so I was able to capture many lovely images.

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Capturing the sunset at Dulas Bay in September 2013
Capturing the sunset at Dulas Bay in September 2013

One thing I did initially struggle with when it came to post processing the images was retaining the boats “true” colour.

Its true colour representation can be seen in the image on the right, its hull is naturally white but with the warm side and front lighting I was getting it was harder to establish the correct white balance setting. I cracked it in the end, I opted to set all of the processed images to “Daylight” White Balance mode so I had an equal platform with there outcome when processing them.

One of the stranded boats in Dulas Bay, Anglesey North Wales
One of the stranded boats in Dulas Bay, Anglesey North Wales

Whilst processing the images at home, I started to think (scary) … Who owned these boats ? Why had they ended up here ? How old were they ?

A quick Google search doesn’t bring anything helpful back, yes people have photographed them before but very little is know about where they came from and how old they are, fascinating or intrigued ? probably a bit of both to be honest.

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Comments (7)

hi can you tell me how i can get there please, i love this shipwreck.

Hi Lee, the directions are in the write up above, and the Google Map :) Make sure you go at low tide ;) and take your wellies if you dont want to get wet boots…

Wendy southgate

Hello James
I live in anglesey (quite recently moved here) and have a large photo of this boat on my wall in my main lounge. I bought it from cemaes gallery so it may be one of yours but I also wonder about its history and wonder if you ever found out anything about it. I’ve been down to duals to see it but no clues at all.

Hi Wendy, I never did find out any more information. I did try and do some internet research as I live in the midlands, but came up with nothing. I have not supplied any images or in fact sold any images from Dulas Bay. I have just processed the images again and updated the website I feel they are a lot more natural looking. Would love to return to Anglesey its so beautiful.

The boat belonged to a gentleman called Dick I’m afraid I can’t recall his surname. He lived near Amlwch. He was friendly with my fathers late friend David Williams of Ruthin who also had a boat which may be wrecked in Dulas. They over wintered the boats for many years in Dulas as it was more sheltered than their summer anchorage in Red Wharf. I remember going out with them fishing in the late 70’s early 80’s. In those days you could net Red Wharf for flatfish or we used rods for Summer mackerel. Both were probably in their 60’s when Dick fell ill and passed away. I can’t remember if he lost the boat before he died, I think he did. Dai fell ill and died in 1998. I think the boat was simply abandoned. I would recognise Dai’s boat if it is there as it had two oak stern pillars from my garden which we cut to fit.

Thank you for sharing this local knowledge Anthony even if it is a sad ending. I do miss Anglesey – ive not been back for a few years now. Think I might have to plan a little trip :) and once again, thank you for taking the time to share your local knowledge.

The wreck is “Manx Rose” and she was built in Arklow, Ireland, in 1942 for the Admiralty. She used to work from Pwllheli in the early 1980’s and then from Amlwch. She was decomissioned about 1985 and taken to Dulas Estuary to be sold off but that never happened. The other wreck was taken to the estuary probably in the 1990’s.

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