(10/4/04) A choice of boats to suit most weather conditions
Saturday 3rd April. The weather forecast said wet and windy (SW ~20mph), but... it was my first chance to get to
Lundy this year. So on with the waterproofs and off to Ilfracombe Harbour.
Friday 9th April Sunny, light winds (N ~5mph) A spring day that hinted of summer rather than the winter of six days
ago. Today was the first day that the Queen of Cornwall sailed this year.
Exmoor Coastal Cruises run boat trips from Lynmouth harbour most days in the summer but
usually only go as far as Woody Bay. However, they do a longer trip (roughly once a week) that will take you as far as
Heddon's Mouth. This is a small boat (30 passengers) which means that although it won't sail in bad weather, it does have
the advantage that it can get a lot closer to the birds than either the Waverley or
Waverley and Balmoral Their complicated schedule of sailings
starts on the 21st of May with the Waverley sailing down the Exmoor coast. On these two boats you can explore a greater
area of the Bristol Channel, trips across to the Gower, etc. When they visit Lundy they don't stay
as long as the Oldenburg but they do have a certain style about them.
(3/2/04) It's early February and I've just seen my first Kittiwake of the year. It was flapping
around the end of Ilfracombe pier with the Herring and
Black-headed Gull gulls. The Fulmars have been back for about a month
now, finding nest sites on the cliffs, or gliding in their particularly stiff-winged style that makes them easy to
recognise at a distance.
This gradual increase in sea-bird activity has increased my anticipation for the spring and the chance to get out on a
boat trip. I know some people will go out in the winter but I'm definitely a fair-weather sailor; I don't usually get
sea-sick, but I don't like the thought of drowning! Fortunately, we have a choice of boats to suit most weather conditions.
The MS Oldenburg starts its trips across to Lundy at the end of March. Most
trips depart from Ilfracombe but some are from Bideford (this depends on the time and high of the
tide over Bideford Bar).