St Mary's, Isles of Scilly - 23 July

Tue 25 Jul 2006 09:45
We went for a walk to see some of the island today.  It is 11 miles to walk a circuit of the island, which is a bit far for us as we have been sitting around for 9 days on passage.  We did walk a fair way though, and saw some wonderful views of clear, clean, bright blue water and the flowers were beautiful.  There are lots of amaryllis on the roadside, in full flower, and large bright pink dog roses.
High St, Hugh Town, St Mary's
It was also a hot day, which was most welcome.  We stopped at an old fort known as Harry's Walls:
Mark, Pip, Charlie and Alice standing on Harry's Walls
The harbour, with its hundreds of small boats, can be seen in the background.  The yachts are on moorings hidden by the foliage on the right hand side of the picture.  The moorings are so close it is unbelievable, and some have more than one boat on them.
The island has many white beaches, with only a smattering of tourists.
We walked along to a cafe called Juliet's Garden, where we had lunch - the view across to Hugh Town was spectactular.
We could hear some kind of commotion going on far away, and it turned out that the annual raft race was going on at the Town Quay.  There were all sorts of rafts, mostly quite Heath-Robinson and people were really letting their hair down.  The RNLI had a rib out, and were pumping water all over the rafters.  One raft had a pub garden umbrella, which was useful in providing shelter from the RNLI deluge.  The participants were also pelted with water bombs by the people thronging the quay.  We felt we were back in the heart of English eccentricity.
Scilly Rafters
Tomorrow we plan to sail over to St Agnes (a voyage of around half an hour) where there is an "unmissable" pub called the Turk's Head.  In the evening we will set sail for Falmouth.