Day 2 |
May 16, 2011

Tresco, UK

By Shoshanah Jacobs, Marine Biologist

Co-ordinates: 49°57’N – 006°17’W

Weather: Fine, with occasional sun and light winds, increasing in the afternoon
Air temperature: +13°C

This morning we awoke to calm seas with a gentle breeze. I had slept rather well the night before, as yesterday was a busy and exciting day for all of us. Breakfast was served to full sunshine and the occasional gull flying by!

In the late morning we joined guests in The Theatre for a Zodiac safety briefing. We all brought our lifejackets with us and learned about the boats themselves, how to board them, and how to dress warmly and safely while on excursions. Then we were presented with the plan for the afternoon: a visit to Tresco Island and the famous garden that has been tended for generations.

Then, the highlight of the morning! A lecture on Life in Nelson’s Navy by one of our historians, Gordon Corrigan. A man partial to the blood and guts of conflict, Gordon told us about the history of the British Navy and its importance throughout the Napoleonic War.

The weather continued to improve and the sun made an even more brilliant appearance closer to lunchtime. Lunch was, of course, delicious, and though I felt as though another meal wasn’t quite necessary, I couldn’t resist.

I rolled onto the outer decks just after eating to catch a few moments of sun and enjoy the final approach to Tresco Island. Then, rather quickly, I boarded a boat and the visit to the garden began. It took about 45 minutes to get all guests ashore and then I wandered with the last group along the path, over beautiful hills and across colourful meadows to the gate of the garden.

We were greeted by the Head Gardner, Andrew, who entertained and educated us with stories of the garden and of the plants. His cellphone began ringing and I thought it strange that he would answer. He hung up and explained that he was an on-call fireman that was needed at the airstrip for an approaching helicopter. He excused himself for just a few minutes to find a replacement. It turns out that most of the locals assume several roles in order to maintain all the services to which we have become accustomed!

It was difficult to leave the beauty of the garden, but as I wandered back to the landing site, a few oystercatchers caught my eye! Then, on the water, even better: several Razorbills floating on the surface. This species is especially shy so it truly was a wonderful sighting.

Back on board, I changed quickly and made my way up to The Theatre for the official Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Dinner. The event was elegant and really fun with wonderful conversation and an excellent opportunity to meet more of our guests.