Yesterday evening we decided to take a walk, it doesn't get dark here until ten o'clock so we had plenty of time. The town that my parents live in is called Newlyn, it is a small, working, fishing town, very close to Penzance. Newlyn has a lot of hills and unfortunately for my weary legs, my parents live at the top of the town! So our walk begins by going down towards the harbour.
On his first visit to Cornwall my husband was quite amazed by the size of the tide drop, when the tide is fully out the boats are left high and dry on the mud in the harbour, the tide was only just turning when we took this picture.
As you can see most of the bigger, commercial fishing boats are out right now, the weather is good so they will be far out to sea.
We walked along by the sea and spotted this beautiful pair of Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus foraging amongst the rocks at the waters edge.
Mousehole is the next village along the coast from Newlyn and it's name is actually pronounced 'Mowzul', if you pronounce it Mousehole, you immediately give yourself away as a 'foreigner'!!! The reason the town got it's name is because the tiny space between the two piers that lead into the harbour is small like a mousehole.
This is the view from inside the harbour, looking out to sea. Across the bay you can just make out St Michaels Mount with the castle on the top.
And this is what I meant about the boats being left high and dry at low tide!
Mousehole has a rather haunted feel to it which is due in large part to a tragedy that befell it in December of 1981. The Cornish seas are notoriously dangerous and almost every town has it's own lifeboat. These boats are manned by heroic volunteers who venture out in the most treacherous of seas to rescue boats that are foundering. On a wild December night in 1981 the Penlee lifeboat, the Solomon Browne, manned by eight men from Mousehole was called out to rescue the crew of a ship that had been blown onto rocks. They managed to winch four of the crew members from the ship onto the lifeboat and then suddenly all radio contact was lost. All of the crew of the lifeboat were drowned and the little village of Mousehole has never been quite the same since.
When word came to the village of what had happened, the first place it became known was the Star Inn. The landlord of the pub was the Coxswain of the lifeboat. The most amazing part of this sad story is that two days after the Solomon Browne went down with all hands, a full crew of new volunteers had stepped up to man a new boat. Having seen many storms around the Cornish coast, I have huge respect for the amazing work that these brave people do.
An unfortunate after effect of this event was that huge sums of money were donated from all over the country and the fighting that ensued over how the money should be divided, rent the village and it's occupants apart.
Moving onto a (slightly) less morbid topic - this is the oldest house in Mousehole. It dates back to the fourteenth century and its owner was killed defending it against the Spanish in 1595. The Spanish succeeded in burning every other house in the town but not this one! The red Jaguar is slightly younger than the house but not much :)
Photo Credits - Dominick V & CJT
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