Our first encounter with fog, thick fog, frightening fog. We had sailed north from Padstow and anchored for the night on the west of the island. Slept well and arose to a calm sea and got organised to sail on (we had no intentions of landing on Lundy) and as we sailed around the south east end of the island near landing bay everything went white and disappeared. I was actually a little frightened such a daunting feeling, feeling very exposed and vulnerable. Sure it’s a big ocean and the chances are small but it was so very thick, it was a strain to see the bow of our boat from the stern (a bit over 12 meters). Out came the fog horn and the kitchen timer to be sure we sounded our horn (compressed air can with pump to refill) every 2 minutes as per regulations (me, well I personally would have been happy to sound off the ear piercing siren every 30 seconds – call it nerves!). I think my nerves were due to the fact we had just entered the ferry zone for tourists coming to visit the island.
Then all of a sudden Phil spotted a boat, a large tourist boat anchored in the bay not far off our port side, it wasn’t sounding a fog horn and it was anchored so a silent ship but enough to kick start the heart even faster. As we continued to crawl along at a very slow pace the sound of multiple small outboard engines was unsettling we were later to discover these were the small ribs transporting tourists from the boat to the island. We continued on past the ferry landing zone and snuck in as close to the island as we dared (couldn’t see land) and once we reached 7 meters of water and dropped the anchor. We heard (but didn’t see) the passenger ferry approach and then leave. Later in the day the fog lifted and we were greeted by huge imposing cliffs of Lundy and a stunning bay and were impressed with our anchoring spot (fluke).
It also just happened to be outside the landing bay meaning we could also fish from the boat. It turned into a glorious day, but a little late to start our passage north, so enticed by the rolling green hills and cliffs launched the dingy to go to shore and explore.
Lundy is a National Trust Island and has a small campground, a couple of lighthouses a pub and a couple of old farm houses that you can hire out to stay in. It’s very popular with bird watchers (twitchers) and the National Trust run it as a farm as well as a little tourism venture. The tourist ferry drops passengers there around 10am in the morning, and then for those not interested in landing (and climbing the steep hills to get onto the island) does a trip around the island to view the lighthouses, cliffs, seabirds and seals, and then picks the land passengers up again about 4pm and goes back to the mainland.
We filled the day in walking the circumference of the island which was stunning, the day now warm and clear (no wind, funny enough hence the fog). The lighthouses at each end were very impressive. One now accommodation and the other heritage listed, lots of farm life in the form of highland cattle and sheep as well as lots of native deer and plenty of birds. As we were started our walk back down the hill back to the dingy in the bay the fog settled back in and we learnt a valuable lesson…. We should have taken a GPS position of the boat, we set off in the dingy in the direction of the boat that wasn’t visible until we got fairly close!!