We left Penzance and as the weather was wrong for going West we decided to visit the harbour at St Michaels Mount just two miles East of Penzance. This is a small island with a dry causeway at low water to the mainland. The whole island is steeped in history and has a ‘castle’ on the top to visit. It is run by the National Trust.
The causeway is only dry for a few hours at low water and during the rest of the day there are ferry boats to take the 200,000 yearly visitors across.
We contacted the harbourmaster about visiting with Ti Gitu and he was very helpful.
This is not a harbour for the faint hearted. The whole harbour
dries at low water and being a twin keel that was fine for us but single keelers will need to lay against the wall which is rough granite. The only place for visitors is at the North end of the West wall. It is very tight to park a 40 footer behind the moored local boats and incredibly busy with ferries at high tide.
Ti Gitu in the NW corner of St Michaels Mount harbour. The boat at our stern is discharging visitors to the island.
The only points to tie to are rings at the edge of the wall. There are only a few rings at the North end, none further down. There are bollards but to use these would mean having your ropes across the walkway and as this is the main landing for visitors would definitely not be appreciated. There are substantial wood ladders and we were advised to tie up next to the most Northerly one leaving room for the ferries to turn and drop off visitors at the steps in the corner.
Visiting by yacht is on a first come first served basis and really there is only room for one visiting boat. The harbourmaster said that it is OK for boats to just turn up i.e. no booking required. There is currently no charge for stopping for a few days. There is an anchorage outside but it gets a bit choppy when the wind is anything South of West.
Looking back from the causeway at the entrance and Ti Gitu inside.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay and have to say that all the boatmen and National Trust staff were incredibly friendly and helpful.
Now we are just waiting for better weather to go further West.