Plymouth Breakwater

Sunday just gone, him indoors and I took ourselves off to the Royal William Yard to take part in a boat trip out to the Plymouth Breakwater. The trip was a three hour round journey with a stop off at the breakwater so we could all get off and walk the mile along. When Plymouth became a major sea base in the seventeenth century the volume of ships increased and with it came an amazing amount of wrecks. Ships were driven into the Plymouth Sound by southerly winds and now the water is scattered with the wreckage. In 1811 work started to create a breakwater to give protection to the Sound, a quarry was opened along the Plym in Oreston to produce the amount of stone needed – around 4 million tons- and it took three years of sinking rock to start to make a difference.

Fifty years later work started on the Breakwater Fort which was armed in 1879 with eighteen rifled guns in armoured casemates to defend the Plymouth Sound.


Sunday was a dry and clear day with calm waters but just as we boarded word came through from the harbour master that winds were 4 knots higher than should be allowed for disembarking, so we were unable to set foot on the breakwater and follow in the footsteps of the Victorian Plymouthians who would promenade along it for recreation.


I wanted to see the survival cage up close, a six foot spherical cage on a seventeen foot pole which takes it above the high water mark; this was for stranded seamen to climb into to wait until rescued.


Here’s the survival cage and beyond the breakwater you can just see the villages of Kingsand and Cawsand and the Cornish cliffs.

For more information about the breakwater and Plymouth Sound and for a closer view of the survival cage visit


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Cabin envy Autumn

Here’s an autumnal looking cabin envy for you

This is Crystal Mill, an old air compressor station in the Colorado mountains. Photo by Jason Hatfield


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More wrecks in the bay

There was an interesting debate happening on the facebook page of Rame Peninsula Beach Care when they uploaded these photographs. The question is, the remains (above and below) belong to which ship? Sand has been washed away to reveal this relic but people are saying that it was there in the 1970s suggesting that over time sand is washed away and returns in a regular cycle. We notice this at our local beach at Whitsand where, in the summer the sand is flat and solid and then, come winter, it gets swept away to reveal large boulders, only to return as flat sand the next spring.  Some people are suggesting the new  wreck is the Emma Christ whereas others say the remains are of the Chancellor but, as there is a ships boiler a few miles East at the other end of the bay (known locally as Boiler beach) the debate is, which boiler is from which ship.

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The Canteen at Maker


Chalet guests suggested we took a trip to Maker Canteen for lunch, someone else had pointed us to it when I posted about places to eat out, so we went off and had a wonderful lunch, all locally sourced and catering for all palates. Spectacular views down into Kindsand and Cawsand from the tables outside and great reviews on trip advisor.  I thought it may only be seasonal but according to their facebook page they will be continuing to cater throughout the winter, Tuesday – Sunday 9.30-4pm (though you might need your wellies!) There’s more information about the area and the history on this site run by the Rame Conservation Trust.


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The slow life

‘It seems to me there is less anxiety here than in other parts of rural Cornwall less edginess…’  Kirsty Fergusson in the Slow Cornwall Bradt guide.


She certainly has a point!


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Blackberry season

It has been a fantastic year for blackberries, obviously a monsoon like spring followed by a rather good early summer is what they like and has resulted in many berries and some pretty good sizes.


Him indoors and I took our plastic containers and wandered down the cliff where the best examples are (always) just out of reach but we collected around three pounds of them, enough for six jars of jam, plus a tub of sloes to steep in gin (Plymouth, of course).


A quick note to let you know life on a Cornish cliff will be a little quiet, as I head to Bristol for a couple of weeks (for this), stay tuned for when I return at the end of September.

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I picked these from my neighbours chalet garden. The colours are fantastic and even though they are fading they change shades as they do so. I put them in this vase of my grandmothers and realised that the hand painted colours totally enhance the flowers. It is sitting on the table at Sea Field View giving a slight autumnal feel to the room at the end of the summer holiday season.


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