The Isles of Scilly Review
Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation
ISLES OF SCILLY - 6th edition, Graham Adam
Published by Imray
So many plans to include the Isles of Scilly in a west country cruise are abandoned because of time and the extra distance, denying the yachtsman a delightful experience. Yet in the right conditions they are a day or night sail from Falmouth or the Helford River, catching the young west-going tide off the Lizard and carrying it most of the way, though the tide is slack in Mounts Bay. Another advantage is that the tides work in the yachtsman’s favour, for off the Lizard they run westward for some five hours and nearly seven hours eastward for the longer leg of the return passage. Or the passage could be broken at Penzance, where mooring buoys are laid off the pier, or the fishing port of Newlyn, where yachts are now made welcome.
In my working days we would often sail to the islands from Falmouth on a Friday night, spend the weekend in the islands, and return by day on Monday, having taken only that day out of the office. That would be the equivalent of three days of a longer cruise, though I would recommend more time there. Once there, you can see through the clear water and watch your anchor bedding into the sandy bottom.
But some may just be daunted. They need not be, and to them, particularly, I recommend Graham Adam’s new edition of the Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation’s Isles of Scilly – never the Scilly Isles; the locals don’t like it. This pilot book is a must for any yachtsman visiting the islands, whether new to cruising and making a first visit, or an experienced rock-hopper, for it serves the full scale. This edition builds on previous ones, not only bringing ephemeral information up to date, but also adding some very good photographs. Indeed, most of the photographs are new and are Graham Adam’s own, with forty-two more pages than in the previous edition. The leading marks both to the simpler and the more obscure anchorages are shown clearly, and there is very good cross-referencing in the text, so the navigator does not lose his way in it.
Included for the first time is information on the local flora and fauna, so the pilot book also serves as a tourist guide, though tourists are comparatively few and well spread. When you land, yours could be the only footprints in a white sandy beach.
This is a truly excellent book: no yachtsman should visit this wonderful archipelago without it.
Andrew Pool, March 2020
ISLES OF SCILLY (6th ed) – RCCPF/Graham Adam
Published by Imray at £27.50