Everyone Needs a Wendy

Travel Adventures

Where is that? 

Either you know or you don’t know where the Isle of Scilly are. 

For those that don’t know, Isle of Scilly is a small archipelago of islands off the coast of Cornwall heading towards America in the Atlantic. The islands are like nougats of gold on our beautiful British Isles that have been greatly treasured.

Nothing quite prepares you for the Isles after a 2-hour boat trip from Penzance. The harbour is hustle and bustle when the Sicilian docks at the central island of St Mary’s, chaos is in order while some passengers may board another boat to one of the neighbouring islands. 

Isle of Scilly and the water surrounding her have been explored over many many generations. The waters are known to be treacherous, as in maritime history in 1707 the worst naval disaster happened here, and Longitude was becoming an evident need for safety across the waves. I can recommend Dava Sobel’s book Longitude as it is truly fascinating about a carpenter and watchmaker changing the course of naval history across the globe and the access to these wonderous isles. Other than a fascination with travel and adventure, the reason for travelling to the enticing islands is the Gig Rowing and can you believe there are World Gig Championships.

Gig rowing is also steeped in history as handcrafted, wooden gigs, led by a pilot would race other gigs to get the job on the much-valued ships and due to the extensive topography of the many capsized boats from 1707 the only way to get to the boat was via the Gig. Humanity as always engineered to problem solve to get work, however, roll forward some 400 years and 120 clubs across the world come here row on the first bank holiday in May. 

 The rivalry within this competition for the two years that I have attended, can only be described as healthy. It truly has a feeling of fun and games for adults whatever the age. 

Hundreds of like-minded people gather across the shores, scattered amongst the islands finding places to camp as St Mary’s overflows with clubs from across the globe spend 3 days rowing. The energy is vibrant and fun as these world championships overtake life amongst the island but without a doubt, the locals and visitors that I met, there was much kindness and smiles on their faces on this May Bank Holiday. 

With Smiles,


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