First view of the Scillies
After 20 odd miles of sea, this came into view...
The Isles of Scilly, Tresco
The first trip we did after finding out the news of the big trip was to share the news with Katie's family, they have been going to the Scilly Isles for years and Kate thought (well not immediately) that it would be a good place to break the news to her Mum and Dad, I had never been before and had only spent a few hours meeting them up to that point, so it was with trepidation that I booked a helicopter flight across to the islands for a long weekend.
The plan was for me to cook a supper and we would pop a bottle of bubbly and break the news, Kate's sister already knew, so it would the be a bit of a celebration (well we hoped!)
The plan was for us to head off on the bike straight from Kate's work and make it to Penzance to stay in a B&B at the Penzance Arts club for the 09.20am helicopter the following morning to Tresco.
All went well with the ride down, it was a breeze, avoided all the traffic and wasn't too chilly, weren't sure we had found the right
A view out over New Grimsby
Looking over the "harbour" with the tide heading out
B&B though as we arrived in the middle of a wedding party and felt like we were crashing the joint, a quirky place to say the least, but a huge room with a strange shower and a stunning view over the port, woke to a glorious morning with almost no cloud and little wind, perfect early August weather.
The flight out was great, much larger chopper than the last one I had off the rigs, but much better kept!!
The first view was stunning, even having lived in Cornwall many years ago, yet never having been to the isles I had little idea of what was waiting for me, but as I was to discover, what a place.
After landing on Tresco, near the old Abbey and large house of the “Laird” of all he purveys, the family that own the island, bought from the Duchy of Cornwall and have it as their private fiefdom, the road signs are minutes, there are only golf buggies and tractors with trailers on the island (there is a land rover, but it is the ambulance and there is a fire truck at the airport) so everything else is on foot or bicycle, which
St Nicholas Church
Tresco's Church, a very peaceful place for a moments reflection
is just the perfect way of seeing the island in peace and tranquility.
After the short tractor ride with all our bags (and shopping, the island shop is well stocked but a tad pricey) to the place we were staying, Kate's Mum sorted us out with some bicycles (the South African guy running the bike hire had come for a summer and I think been there for 9 odd years...) and off we went for an explore of the island to make the most of the weather and to try and arrange for a kayak for an outing we had planned for the Sunday, if the weather held.
We cycled past St. Nicholas Church, which has a fascinating history into the family of the Dorrien-Smiths, towards Old Grimsby, where the Island hotel is located, the only Hotel on the island, with the water sport center, arranged the kayak and then carried on round the island, up to the ruins of the watch tower overlooking the old port, then on down to the stunning white Pentle beach for a relax and have a great view of the chopper coming in over the water with another load of folk for the island.
Looking out from the old watch tower over the tranquility and white sands. The Island hotel is tucked away at on the far side.
It was so peaceful and relaxing (well except the chopper) and we just enjoyed the day and the weather....
What a difference a night makes, after a great meal out at the pub, we woke in the morning to a cold, damp and misty dimness, but hey, wasn't a problem as we were going to get wet anyway, we had been lucky enough to arrange a trip to snorkel with the seals, a prospect that made me cold to think about and look at the water!
Walking over to the jetty at old Grimsby again, a boat awaited us and ferried us through the morning mist towards St Martins to get kitted up with wetsuits, mask and fins.
Once kitted up, off we went in the boat to the uninhabited Eastern Isles and there were plenty of seals, but they had so much blubber, I was sure they weren't going to feel the cold like we were about to!!
We spent about 45 mins in the water, that was more than enough.... next time I will definitely take my own properly fitting wetsuit so I could last the whole hour!
The photos say more than I can write about
Between Tresco and some of the small islands towards St Helens, we later Kayaked across here
the experience, they are so gentle and seem to know the difference between skin and wetsuit, biting at the wetsuits and fins, but not skin!
Following that and warming up a bit after the boat trip back it was a day to relax and plan the evening, which was cooking the dinner to break the news...
So a bit of shopping and some bubbly, then almost as it was ready Kate poured the bubbly and said that we had an announcement to make, which wasn't the one Kate's mum was expecting, Duncan, her Dad was reading the paper and missed it completely, reckoning we were just talking “tittle-tattle” when we produced the picture of our butter bean!
Turned out to be a great night, wasn't quite the announcement everyone was expecting, but hey!
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