Isles of Scilly
New Grimsby Sound Tresco
We arrived in New Grimsby Sound in the evening just as the sun was setting after an uneventful 12 hour motor sail from Padstow. We watched the ferries finishing their taxi service and the neat fishing boats moored beside us on the other side of the Sound.
Shantih in New Grimsby Sound
After a peaceful night David decided to have a swim off the swimming platform only to find the water temperature several degrees cooler than in Barmouth. After a hot shower on the swimming platform he was warmed up and proceeded to warm from the inside with a bowl of porridge.
Hot bowl of porridge and warm sunshine
The next job was to inflate the dinghy and get the outboard going so that we could go ashore. David rigged a block and we managed to lower the outboard over the side into the dinghy. No awkward heavy lifting! In the afternoon we went ashore but the outboard, which had not been used for some time cut out half way across to the harbour. The remainder of the journey was by the old fashioned method of rowing. Had a walk round and found the New Inn which was a lovely pub and restaurant.
Having ordered our drinks we met a couple who were moored next to us in the Sound and we got on extremely well enjoying a drink together and sharing our sailing experiences. The landlord of the New Inn was able to assist with our outboard and put us in touch with a mechanic in Bryher. Thankfully the outboard started in the New Grimsby Sound harbour and we were able to return to Shantih escorted by Jonny and Amanda to ensure we made it.
Plotter locating Shantih in NGS
They kindly invited us to their yacht the following morning for breakfast. It was a lovely morning which culminated in Jonny showing us his amazing drone camera and how it takes off, lands and photographs from the comfort of the cockpit. The outboard was repaired by the mechanic on Bryher who fitted a new fuel tap. Very impressive.
After breakfast, an aerial view
Birds eye view of Shantih
We went ashore on Bryher looking for the lady who sold freshly caught fish and were directed to her home which was also a shop. Knocked on the door but nobody was home. The front door was open and goods for sale were displayed with an honesty box for payment if you wanted to purchase. One thing that impressed us was how houses were left unlocked, bicycles left propped up against the wall, honesty boxes were left next to home grown fruit and vegetables or homemade crafts in the street. We decided to go across to Tresco to shop having failed to find any fresh fish.
On reaching the harbour we noticed a fish stall by the harbour wall, Ann having come across to sell fish, crab, lobster, freshly made quiches and fish pies on Tresco.
Fish stall on Tresco.
The fish was very fresh with the fish pies and quiches prepared by Ann’s mother. A truly family business.
Freshly caught fish by Ann’s husband
The weather forecast predicted a SW force 6 and we were advised that Old Grimsby Sound was a more comfortable mooring in a south westerly so we decided to go round Kettle and Kettle Rocks into Old Grimsby Sound. We invited Jonny and Amanda for dinner that evening preparing one of my son’s favourite risottos. Again it was a fun evening.
The following day was wet and windy and we stayed on board for most of the day venturing out in the afternoon to visit Ruin Beach Café. Met Amanda and Jonny and walked to the New Inn for a beer and chat. That evening we decided to share our food on board Infinite Blu as Amanda and Jonny were leaving the next morning heading to Padstow and back home.
Shantih in NGS looking towards St Mary’s in the distance
We woke the next morning to blue skies. Infinite Blu had slipped her mooring and was heading back to the mainland.
Shantih in Old Grimsby Sound from Infinite Blu
We had breakfast in the cockpit in very different weather to the day before enjoying the warmth of the sun after the rain the day before.
Breakfast in the cockpit
In wet weather keeping busy and not just eating and sleeping needs some will power. Some yoga in a confined space has its challenges but meditating on a flame was very peaceful.
Wet weather meditation
Decided to bake a loaf to see what was possible without my Kenwood mixer and a small gas oven. Was really pleased with the results and that I didn’t have to bake it in the bread oven in King Charles’ castle located on the north of Tresco.
Wholemeal loaf came out well
Tresco has its own history with a small fort protecting Old Grimsby Sound. It was a short walk and well worth the wonderful view. At the entrance to New Grimsby Sound Cromwell’s Castle can be seen opposite Hangman Island.
Bread oven King Charles’ Castle
We had a lovely morning walk along the footpath from New Grimsby towards Cromwell’s castle on North End Castle Down on Tresco. It was an artillery fort overlooking the anchorage between Tresco and Bryher which replaced badly sited King Charles’ Castle built in 1550. It guards one of the main routed of entry into the islands.
King Charles’ Castle was built as an artillery fort in 1547 -53 and garrisoned Royalists during the Civil War. It was built to protect New Grimsby harbour but was poorly situated to fire on invading ships in the Sound and was later superseded by Star Castle on St Marys.
View from King Charles’ Castle looking towards St Marys, Shantih moored in the Sound
We also explored the Cromwell fort before heading over the down back to New Grimsby. Old Grimsby Sound also has a fort, The Blockhouse, situated on a high point with views of St Martin’s Northwethel and Tean. The sand is white and sparkling, quite lovely.
View from the Blockhouse Old Grimsby
The Old Blockhouse at Old Grimsby Sound has a spectacular view of the area east of Tresco. At high water it is deceptively inviting. At Low water the rocks and reefs are exposed showing how treacherous sailing in these waters can be.
View from The Blockhouse looking towards Old Grimsby Harbour
We decided that Old Grimsby Harbour was our favourite with its several white sanded beaches along the south east of Tresco. The rest of the photographs speak for themselves.
Shantih in Old Grimsby Sound. Looking towards Northwethel, St Helen’s and Tean
New Grimsby Sound from the Middle Down, Tresco
Shantih moored in Old Grimsby Sound
White sands of beach at Old Grimsby Sound
Walking to The Blockhouse Old Grimsby Sound, Shantih in the distance
Swimming off the beach at Old Grimsby Sound
Old Grimsby Sound harbour from Shantih
Abbey Gardens Tresco
Tresco has the most amazing sub-tropical vegetation which was imported by Augustus Smith in the 19th century from the Mediterranean, Brazil, Burma and South Africa. The tall windbreaks he created protect the plants from the stronger winds that cross the Scilly Isles from time to time.
Great Pool on Tresco walking towards the Abbey Gardens
Shell mosaic in the Mediterranean garden
Mediterranean feel in the Abbey Gardens
Succulent vegetation growing on walls of Abbey
Delicious Cape gooseberries grown in Abbey Gardens
Sub-tropical vegetation Abbey Gardens
Sub-tropical vegetation Abbey Gardens
Path leading to the Mediterranean Garden
Valhalla a museum created by Augustus Smith of figureheads from ships wreaked around the Scilly Isles
After a walk around the gardens we took refreshment in the Abbey Gardens café. It was such a lovely afternoon we sat outside with a flock of tame sparrows who were eager to help us eat the cakes.
Hugh Town St Mary’s
Sun set in Hugh Town safe from strong south westerlies
The weather dictated that we seek shelter in Hugh Town harbour on St Mary’s and we crossed from New Grimsby Sound across Tresco Flats at High Water to Hugh Town. There was an uncomfortable swell coming in from Atlantic but we were reasonably sheltered from the weather.
Hugh Town harbour St Marys
We spent an uncomfortable night swinging around our mooring whilst being bounced around by the swell but we survived the night and went ashore in the morning in search of showers and a launderette.
Hugh Town harbour quayside after a bouncy night on the mooring
The bouncy night on Shantih seemed to have cured me of sea sickness but unfortunately I was finding the non-moving ground uncomfortable! There is no pleasing some people. We found the harbourmaster, showers and went into town to find the laundry. It was an unchanged town maintaining its unique character and after depositing our washing at the laundry we found a lovely café which provided us with a very good lunch. The chandlery had a dinghy star anchor and chain so we could anchor our dinghy on the beach without fear of it disappearing as the tide came in. The co-op provided the provisioning and having finished our chores the last thing was to have a shower before heading back to Shantih for another bouncy night. Cooking the evening meal was challenging but I still retained my sea legs which meant I could enjoy it once it was cooked.
Sub-tropical vegetation on St Marys just growing by the roadside
Before leaving Hugh Town we came alongside the harbour wall to take on some fresh water. Conditions suddenly became challenging as the winds freshened as we tried to spring the bow out. With only .4 of a metre under the keel on a rapidly falling tide the harbour staff took to a dinghy and turned our bow so that we could make our escape back to Tresco.
Alongside harbour wall Hugh Town
Leaving Hugh Town we sailed through St Mary’s Sound and up the North Channel around Northern Rocks Scilly Rock, Bryher and back into New Grimsby Sound around Shipman Head. There was quite an Atlantic swell but it was an enjoyable sail.
Back to Padstow
Having left Holyhead in the last week of August we have been dogged by bad weather which has delayed our journey south. This coupled with power issue made us decide to bring Shantih back to Holyhead for the winter where we can work on renewable methods of charging the batteries and installing a generator. I say “we” rather loosely as it will be David making these changes whilst I complete my dissertation.
Last evening in Tresco before returning to Padstow
We decided to turn off our instruments and use compass and traditional navigation on this leg to Padstow. We took hourly stints on the helm and thoroughly enjoyed it after the motor sailing down the coast to the Scilly Isles.
Heading to Padstow under sail