with Jill Atkinson and Kate Ross
All arrived safely in Bideford. A stroll along the Quay in the evening before our meal at a local restaurant. Stiff breeze blowing so a possibility we might have to take the helicopter the next day.
Breakfast at our local B&B – then an early start to the Quay to find that MS Oldenburg was indeed sailing. A lovely trip along the N Devon coast past Appledore Shipyard and in the distance Hartland Point lighthouse. Soon out at sea watching the various seabirds including shearwater skimming the waves. Lundy soon came into sight but the wind and waves were strong and high so we were not able to get into harbour but we dropped anchor at Jenny’s cove where we could watch the razorbills and guillemots on the cliff edges. Two hours later and after not a few ‘arrow prayers’ we were able to land – a rather precarious disembarkment. All made their way up the steep path to Millcombe House – our home for the next three days. Having checked in at the office we ate our picnic lunches in the delightful garden of our new home.
Then for some a walk up to the Quarter wall – looking out for black rabbits, Soay sheep and sika deer – and enjoying the peace and beauty of this little island. Some climbed to the top of the old lighthouse for amazing views, whilst others hurried home to find that our luggage had arrived and the food had been delivered as per our pre-order.
After mastering the intricacies of the cooker, the evening meal was prepared and eaten, sitting in style around the huge long table in the dining room (gracious living!). Evening worship in the lovely lounge – then all to bed. It had been a long and exciting day.
After breakfast – an inspiring service for Pentecost led by Kate - then some off to bird ringing organised by the Field Society (who had special events that week) and others for a walk in the SW of the island. After eating packed lunches at home off for a walk along the E side of the island. Wonderful display of wild flowers – bluebells, foxgloves, sea thrifts, Lundy cabbage and tiny sundew in the marshy ground. Then great excitement as we spotted a pod of dolphin swimming offshore. Back home for tea and cake before taking part in a service in St Helen’s Church on the theme of Creation. Evening meal and good conversation – and so to bed.
Another lovely sunny day – packed lunches sorted – set out for walk along W of the island. Stopped at Jenny’s Cove - (still no sign of puffins) - morning worship at Punchbowl Valley. Some stayed behind here, the rest walked on to the top of the island where we had our picnic lunch in the shelter of John O’Groats house enjoying magnificent views. Some then walked slowly back stopping at Poundsbury pool and enjoying the company of wild ponies, the other intrepid guests walked down steep steps to lighthouse and again saw pod of dolphins and in the caves near the old jetty we heard the mournful cry of the seals, while others balanced on the nearby rocks. Climbing back up we made our way back down the island – glimpsing the elusive black rabbit on our way. Evening meal – then our worship – then all to bed early - all just too tired to go on the planned midnight walk....
Early breakfast – luggage packed ready for collection and a general tidy of the house. An interesting talk in the Church on the local wild flowers and then off to different locations: some to bird ringing, some to the shop and some for a final search for the elusive puffin – and they were there! – enjoyed watching them fly in and out of their burrows or just gathering together with their comical faces and brightly coloured beaks – a delight to watch, and two black rabbits too.
Back to the jetty to catch the boat - some having a quick paddle in the cold, clear water on the way. Sea beautiful blue, flat calm and what a delight to have dolphins swimming along beside the boat (like a Greek odyssey). Boat due into Ilfracombe this time so an enjoyable trip along the N. Devon Coast then coach back to Bideford, fish and chip supper and back to our B&B’s.
Good breakfasts at our B&B’s – then time to say our goodbyes – most walked down to the Quay for bus to Barnstaple – then by train to various destinations.
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Lundy Island – a very special place – small and unique – where time stands still and no commercial distractions of televisions and mobile phones. What a peaceful little place.