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A Weekend of Rough Seas and Seaspray

28 October 2013

Scilly, like most of the country, has been on high alert with the amber storm warnings this weekend.  We heeded advice and prepared for the worst. Everything loose in the garden was tucked away and guest rooms were equipped with torches as we battened down the hatches!

With 10 guests staying with us we wanted to make sure we were well prepared.  Many of them were enjoying their first trip to Scilly and had kick-started their holiday with a rather exhilarating flight over on the 8-seater Islander from Lands End. Now a weekend of storm watching lay ahead!

On Sunday morning we waited in anticipation unsure of what was to come. We walked round the Garrison to get a taster.  The seas did look incredibly hairy out towards Samson and Bryher and out towards St. Agnes!  How amazing it would be to watch the storm from over there!

Rolling waves off the Garrison on Sunday morning

On Sunday night we stayed up listening to the driving rain, waiting for the winds to start howling and the windows to rattle! The Isles of Scilly were in line to be the first land hit by the brewing storm. With regular tweets and storm updates coming in from the Islands very own ‘Scilly Sergeant’ (@ScillySergeant), the St. Mary’s Harbour Master (@StMarysHbr) and Radio Scilly (@radioscilly) we knew we were in safe hands!

All tucked in and prepared for the storm to hit Scilly!

Although there were strong gusts and a roaring sea the storm passed the Islands without event.  Luckily for us the neap tides and the mostly westerly winds meant that our side of Porthcressa bay was pretty sheltered by the Garrison throughout the night.  The Islands as a whole thankfully escaped the worst of storm St Jude.

On Monday morning, as dawn came, the roar of the sea had disappeared and Porthcressa bay looked almost tranquil.  The wind had moved to the west and we were completely sheltered.

All calm on the southern front! Porthcressa bay at dawn

Our guests came down for breakie in their usual happy spirits, most had slept through the night without a stir.

Enjoying breakfast, relieved that the storm had passed Scilly

There was excitement in the breakfast room as we watched Cormorants dive for fish and a seal came in close-by to play. There were beautiful rolling waves in the distance coming off the ledges round Peninnis and just off Morning Point a roller would occasionally break and then disappear.

The lovely view from our breakfast room

After breakfast we decided to explore the coastal path round Peninnis. This is our favourite walk in windy conditions! There was bright sunshine and it was high water so we knew there was likely to be some good seaspray and rough churning seas to watch and listen to. The dramatic rock formations and crashing waves were quite something!

Crashing waves lining the coastal path along to Peninnis.

It was pretty spectacular – the sound of the sea and the sudden crashes and seaspray were exciting – the awe inspiring power of mother nature at her best! Our images really don’t do it justice.

A lively shot of roaring seas at Monk’s Cowl, Peninnis

Looking up at Tooth Rock waiting for the the next big wave to hit!

Whilst taking photos down on the labyrinth of wet, slippery granite rocks we chatted to a Scillonian. He pointed out to us, just to the right of Tooth Rock (see in the above photo) a small triangular shaped gap giving access to a narrow ledge –  a great place to photograph the crashing waves, he said! This was somewhere we had never explored and later we carefully climbed onto this ledge known as ‘Pitt’s Parlour’ and got very close to the roaring sea and waves rushing around directly below us.

Stood on ‘Pitt’s Parlour’, looking down on the roaring seas

Some fabulous seaspray on the rocks below the lighthouse

Big seas crashing into Pulpit rock

We set off back to the Wheelhouse with big smiles and salt spray in our hair. We got caught in a heavy squall as we dillydallied back darting from one rock to the next to try to catch that perfect shot!  All good fun!

A quick whirl round the Garrison in the late afternoon showed that the wind was still blowing with the seas out towards St Agnes were looking big.  I bet the tripper boat going to St. Agnes today would have been a real experience!

Looking over towards St. Agnes in the afternoon seas

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