We left St Michaels Mount and headed for the Scillies where we were to catch up with friends.
This group of islands is beautiful – but only in good weather. As soon as it blows up shelter can be very difficult. We started off in Saint Helens Pool which is a good anchorage but as soon as it blows up you begin to roll a lot so as soon as it went Southerly it was round to Saint Martins Bay. This gives pretty good shelter from the South
round to West but you do need to choose a spot where there is no weed to drop the anchor. Again like the rest of the islands it can get a bit rolly.
Our friend Tom began to teach me how to fish and we had good success off Mackerel rocks, fishing from the dinghy.
Green Bay on Bryher is also popular but at spring tides the boat will dry out. Fine for us and we went there a couple of times.
The plan was to go from the islands to Southern Ireland and so we went over to St Marys and used one of the moorings for a few hours while we went shopping at the Co Op and bought some petrol for the generator and outboard. The price of petrol was ‘Ouch’.
We began to see that the weather was not going to improve and in the end decided not to cross to Ireland, which was a good decision as a big gale was forecast and you definitely do not want to be in the Scillies in bad weather. We ran for cover in Penzance as it seemed many of the other yachts decided on. We have been in Penzance for most of the week in a big raft of boats but glad of the shelter.
Ti Gitu will move on to Falmouth soon.
St Martins. You can land with the dinghy in St Martins bay or near the hotel at Lower Town. There are some nice walks and in Higher Town there is a reasonably priced small supermarket. To get rid of rubbish go down the lane opposite the dive centre near the church at Higher Town. If you want washing done at the hotel then ask the price first. You will probably decide to stay dirty!!!
Tresco. Very, very, touristy. There are various places to land and water by can is available at both Old Grimsby and new Grimsby. There is a supermarket in New Grimsby but it is extremely expensive as is everything else on the island. Some nice walks and an old fort and ruined fort to look at. Lots of rubbish bins all over the place. There are moorings between Tresco and Bryher just north of New Grimsby, I understand they are £20.00 a night.
Bryher. We landed in Green Bay. At the Southern end of the beach is a boat yard where rubbish can be dumped and water available by can. This is supplied by the yard and a donation for the local community centre is appreciated. Showers and washing machine are available in the yard. There is a rubbish dump down the lane towards the hotel and a small store in the middle of the island.
St Marys. This is the main and largest of the islands. Hugh Town is the ‘capital’ of the islands and has a Co Op supermarket, fuel supplies, water, small chandlery and chemist etc. Rubbish is easily disposed of on the quay. The supermarket is mainland prices but as with all the other islands because things have to be brought in by ship everything else is expensive.
There is no anchoring in the harbour, you have to use a mooring, most of which are £18.00 a night. They are marked as being for 40 ft boats but there is only just over 40 ft between them so mooring can be difficult and I would not want to be on one in bad weather. Also with any sort of swell around the islands you roll a lot on the moorings.
There is a dedicated dinghy dock off the quay.
The anchorage in Porth Cressa has been filled up with moorings which have apparently been badly placed and it was reported to us that the place is virtually unusable now.
There is an anchorage at Watermill Cove on the North east of the island but we did not use that.
A walk around the island is nice and there are some nice things to look at such as a very old village, stone or bronze age, I can’t remember.
Saint Agnes. We didn’t get to St Agnes yet, we will visit there the next time we go to the islands.
There can be problems with communications. There are some places where a mobile phone just won’t work and we found that our mobile dongle for the internet had no coverage. Ours is from ‘3’ but friends Orange dongle did work. Apparently sometimes others will work OK but only slowly.
The Scillies are well worth spending some time at, but only when the weather is reasonably settled. In settled weather they are almost like the Caribbean. Everything can be expensive so stocking up before sailing there is advisable. All the local people are really friendly and helpful which also helps make for a pleasant visit.