Friday 24th May 2019
The weather forecast meant that Friday was the best day to hire a boat from Hut 62 on Bryher.
Our boat was delivered to the jetty in front of Bay House and we were given life jackets, a chart, a basic first aid kit and a training session. Because the tidal range makes such a difference to the water level between the various islands, on a few days each year the water is actually low enough for people to walk between Tresco and Bryher and Robert has done this in the past. We were therefore advised to take a small one-man dinghy with us, allowing one of us to drop the others, then take the boat into deeper water to moor and return to shore in the dinghy, so that the boat did not become beached. As we crossed towards Bryher to collect the dinghy, a helicopter flew overhead.
To help to manage the tidal range we were also advised to go to the farthest point we wished to visit and then return as the tide was going out. We planned to finish our day trip on Bryher where we could spend a few hours while the tide went out and came back in again to re-float our boat.
We therefore headed out, past Samson, which is uninhabited, round to Old Grimsby . . .
. . and on to St Martins for coffee and cake at the Karma Hotel in Lower Town.
Robert did not appreciate how far out the boat needed to be moored to combat the tidal range and so we felt we should return to the boat after a short walk, rather than continue round to Higher Town. According to Robert, the one-man dinghy seemed to have been designed for a child and proved difficult to manoeuvre as his knees kept impeding the oars. When we tried to go further round St Martin’s to reach Higher Town by water we found that this was beyond the permitted area. At one point Robert found he had successfully rowed into a bank of seaweed, whilst the distaff side of the Herd looked on from the shore helpless. Ruth and Jaime [proving her unconditional love of the sea] waded in to help to rescue the situation.
From St Martins we returned to Bryher and revisited Fraggle Rock for warming beverages . . .
. . . before returning to Tresco from whence the helpful staff from Hut 62 collected our boat.
We thoroughly recommend hiring a boat from Hut 62, but we did learn that the Herds are not necessarily naturally nautical.