It all looked so beguiling from the small twin engined Otter aircraft window when we approached over the Isles of Scilly. Gleaming white, almost tropical-looking sandy edges outlining the assorted green land masses and the blue colour of the ocean that might only be otherwise seen in exotic holiday brochures. This was our first time here and it looked like we were in for a treat of a week.
We arrived in the late afternoon last Friday. The room in the guest house we had booked had a large bay window overlooking the busy harbour of St Mary’s and it was a sweeping view of the whole of the frontage of Hugh Town that greeted us on the first day, the chairs thoughtfully provided at the window allowed us to sit and just take it all in over a cup of tea and quiet, restful contemplation.
Then the next day was a bit grey and overcast. The morning also started off with some rain so we jumped on to the one Tour of the Island tourist bus for an introduction and an easy bearings taking. Anyone who has seen the TV programme ‘An Island Parish’ will have recognised our driver and guide Glynn, just as dry and entertainingly grumpy in real life.
“Hands up any of you that only jumped on here because you didn’t fancy getting wet?” he started off with. All twenty or so of us sheepishly raised our hands in a cloud created by our steaming anoraks.
In truth we had a great week and the islands themselves were beautiful, but the weather was not conducive to any great views. Over three days we circumnavigated St Mary’s on foot, we took boat trips to all of the Islands on other days and we ate and drank well all week. We only had real soaking rain on the one day, the rest of the time was a grey murk, visibility hovering between a pea-souper of 20 or 30 metres to a tantalising few hundred meters. Keeping an eye out sometimes resulted in a fleeting view as clouds cleared, revealing a rocky outcrop for a few moments, only for it to recede back into its grey invisibility cloak again.
Then, on the day we were flying back – flights had been completely suspended from the airport for the three days before – the fog lifted and I got sunburned as we enjoyed the rays at last for an hour or two. That’s when the panoramic shot at the top was taken.
I will post up any shots that I think are worthy as I process them, just don’t expect much in the way of dramatic skies!