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St Mary's - Isles of Scilly

Saga Pearl II blog - Captains' blogs

6th September, 2018

In a fresh early morning north-westerly breeze, we approached a small archipelago of islands dotted some 28 miles south-west of Land’s End in Cornwall. 5 of these islands are inhabited, whilst over 100 others remain uninhabited by humans – only nature: and plenty of it.

We headed in towards our anchorage in Crow’s Sound, located in the sheltered, eastern section of the archipelago. Another ship arriving today – the Europa 2 – carrying a hoard of German passengers, elected to anchor closer to the tender landing spot in the less sheltered western part of the archipelago. They soon learnt why us British had opted otherwise, for they encountered some tricky swells making their tender operation a little more exciting than usual no doubt. Local boats soon made their way out to us to ferry our passengers in to various islands for their day’s explorations.

These islands have been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and are a haven for birds and sea-life alike. Hugh Town, the ‘Capital’ of St Mary’s which is the largest island, boasts an interesting garrison fortified to counter the threat of the Spanish Armada in the 16th Century. A walk around its walls provides fine views of the other islands – and out into the Atlantic. I also happen to know a good little shop here for Cornish Pasties. Neighbouring Tresco island, which would also be well-visited today by our passengers, contains a mass of tropical plants and is a positive paradise for anybody who enjoys roaming around with garden tools all day at home.

The day passed with a stiff breeze but plenty of sunshine, which no doubt delighted our passengers and Tresco’s tropical plants alike. When the sun appeared between the rapidly-moving clouds, these islands do look glorious with their miles of golden sandy beaches, deserted apart from a few ramblers and sailing yachts visiting from near & afar.

G&T time fast approached as the last tender arrived back at the ship at 18:45, and after we had counted everyone back on board it was time to weigh our anchor again and head back to sea. Only a short hop was required overnight tonight before our next stop tomorrow in the 3rd largest natural harbour in the world. I’ll leave you to guess where that may be, whilst I go to enjoy a delicious supper in the Veranda with some of our guests.

Captain Kim Tanner

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