To the Lighthouse
At the Life Boat Station at the head of the wharf, we met Derek and got our tickets for a 1:00 boat trip to the lighthouse. (about $20@) Saint Ives Boats
We had to walk down the old granite stairs and across a long pier built across fields of barnacle and smail-encrusted rocks to get into a small boat, which took us out to a larger boat. The six of us went with three other women, including two Americans from San Diego who run an international animal welfare association, one of whom was a Woolf fan. We got right up close to the rocks, took dozens of pictures (I took 150 pictures today alone; multiply that by six and you get the idea…we think we are going to end up with about 1000 pictures each for the whole trip)
Our companions pointed out the seals and various bird species, (including cormorants) which made the trip even more fun. I’ve looked for pictures of Godrevy on-line, and have never seen any as good as the ones we got. The lighthouse and rocky islands which surround it really do look like a leaf stood on its side.
The round trip to and from the lighthouse takes about an hour. It was a cloudy day, and the seas were rough enough that they had the red warning flags up in the lighthouse (which is now fully automated and solar-powered). The rocks surrounding the lighthouse are impressive craggy, and you can see why so many ships wrecked off the reef they are part of.
There were lots of seals, some of whom dived into to check us out, slick heads swiveling as we roared by. There were rows of cormorants on the rocks, looking like small egrets, poised to dive for fish. Close to the rocks there were some huge swells that rose from below us to crash on the rocks—all quite gothic and sublime.
We sailed (not literally—we were in a small motor boat, the Dolly P) back via Hayle Towons, the long white beach leading up to the estuary at Hayle, to which the Stephens often walked. Saw the seas of grasses into which Prue disappears.
Circling back by St. Ives, it was barely possible to make out Talland House, peeping over the eaves of several giant alpine chalet roofs which block its view even more effectively than the Porthminster Hotel.