A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall 3: A Visit to a Seal Colony

INTRODUCTION

My previous post in this series covered the journey from St Germans to St Ives and hinted at the feature of my time in St Ives. This post picks up the story. The Cornish Maid has produced posts giving a more local take on St Ives in her blog.

SERENDIPITY IN ST IVES

From the station I headed in the general direction of the sea front, taking photographs along the way.

SculptureSt ives Bay lineSt Ives Bay lineBeach scene St IvesSt IvesChurch towerclock face

Old phone box, St Ives
This olde-worlde telephone box caught my attention, while the attached clock had all the appearance of being an old railway clock…
Old GWR clock
…soon confirmed by my zoom lens.
Panel set into wall of RC church
This panel is set into the wall of the Roman Catholic church
St Ives Guildhall
St Ives Guildhall, a handome building, though not quite in the class of King’s Lynn’s 15th century masterpiece. It is home to a tourist information office but they evidently have staffing issues as it was closed and locked that day (a sunny friday in July)

Bronze sculptureSt Ives map and pictureBeach scene, St IvesLighthouseWall with porthole windows in itLooking across the bayspeckled gull

Church
This is the main Anglican church

As I hit the sea front area I encountered a man selling tickets for boat trips to a seal colony. Knowing that I was operating to a time limit (the connections back being less good than those for the outward journey I needed be back at the station around 3PM to be sure of getting back to St Germans at 6PM as I intended) I made enquiries about departure times and the length of the boat trip. I benefitted from being a natural born singleton – there was exactly one seat remaining on the Sea Horse, which was departing at 12:00 and would be back around 1:15, and that was the decision made (there is a seal colony at Blakeney Point in Norfolk, but this seemed likely to be an improvement on that). 

One takes a small boat out to the main boat one is booked on, and at low tide (as it was for my outbound journey) one has to walk out into the sea to about knee depth for the first pick up. The water was cool but not shockingly so, and it was actually very pleasant standing in the shallows. 

Small boats taking people out to the bigger boats for trips to see the sealsCrabWaiting for the SeahorseSwimming gulllooking out to seaHeadland and rocks

OUTWARD BOUND

I managed to board the small boat taking me and others out to the Seahorse (a 12 seater boat, so still not huge) without incident, and the transfer to the Seahorse also passed without incident.

Looking back from the boattour boatCornish coastCoast from the searocks with birdsrocky coastlineMoss and rocks

rocks in the sea
The rocks in the background of this shot are the near edge of the seal colony.

AT THE SEAL COLONY

I will let the pictures tell their own story…

A first glimpse of sealsSeal rockstwo large sea birdsseal rocks IISealsthree sealsSeals IILots of sealsSeal about to be submergedSeals on rocksSeal in the water

seal waves a flipper
Some of the seals, like this one waved flippers at us.

Seal wavesSeals on the rocksseals IIIseals IVseals in numbersSeals VISeals VIISeals VIIISeal about to be waterbornelarge sealseal waves a flipper IISeals IXSeals Xseven sealsSeals XISeals XIISeals XIIIseals with yacht in backgroundmossy rockfour sealsSeals XIVswimming sealSeals XV

BACK TO ST IVES

The start of the return journey featured the bumpiest sea of the entire trip (fortunately there was a breeze rather than a serious wind blowing, so the sea was choppy rather than actually rough). I imagine that in a winter storm (I encountered Cornish winter storms and their effects in 1989 on a christmas holiday when we stayed in a Landmark Trust cottage. I believe that the enitre village was actually owned by Landmark Trust, but the perimeter fence of RAF Morwenstow was within walking distance for those looking to place it). Fortunately the tide had risen to the point that the transfer boat could get right up to the quayside, so no further paddling was required.

ruinBeach from the boatIsolated housePassing a beachBeach shot797798Beach sceneThe seas edgeApproaching landLanding areaLooking across the bay IIApproaching land II

Standing tree stump circle
This put me somewhat in mind of Seahenge, now on display at The Lynn Museum.

Author: Thomas

I am branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk and #actuallyautistic (diagnosed 10 years ago at the comparatively advanced age of 31). I am a keen photographer, so that most of my own posts contain photos. I am a keen cricket fan and often write about that subject. I also focus a lot on politics and on nature.

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