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The Scilly Islands- Saint Agnes and Gugh

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign

Waypoint

None Given

Charts

AC 1148 Isles of Scilly to Lands End; 34 Isles of Scilly; 883 Isles of Scilly and the Principal Off-Islands; SC 5603 (8 to 13) Various parts of the Isles of Scilly including small scale Falmouth to Scillies; Imray C7 Falmouth to the Scillies and Trevose Head (insufficient on its own)

Rules & Regulations

See Text

Hazards

Plenty

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW St Mary’s is HW Dover – 0630. MHWS 5.7m MHWN 4.3m MLWN 2.0m MLWS 0.7m

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General Description

Main coverage of the Scilly Isles HERE

Saint Agnes and Gugh are the most South Westerly of the inhabited islands of the Scilly Isles; after that it is just barren wind-swept rocks. The two islands are joined by a sand bar which covers at high tide. This bar does not provide much shelter from winds blowing across it so neither Porth Conger (the northerly bay) or the Cove (the southerly) provide shelter from Northerly or Southerly winds but are quite sheltered in South West or NE winds.

In the Nineties they were fairly uncrowded but nowadays, on a summers evening, finding somewhere to drop your pick in the Cove will prove an interesting exercise. To give some idea of scale; the chart we provide of St Mary’s and St Agnes is only two miles from top to bottom so the trip from Porth Cressa is only about half an hour from breaking out the anchor to dropping it; many skippers will drop across to the Cove for sundowners and then elect to stay the night or just go across for the day and return to Porth Cressa in the evening. It can get very busy.

Approach

There are no particular problems approaching either the Cove or Porth Conger....

....., though the Cove is the larger (and more popular) of the two. From St Mary’s you can pass either side of the N.Bartholomew PHM depending on your destination.  If making for Porth Conger, after the N Bartholomew PHM, shape a course for Browarth Point until the Gugh sandbar opens around The Cow rock and then steer SSE into the Porth being careful not to anchor where you will obstruct the “grockle” boats going in to the pier.

The ferries do not make any particular allowance for anchored yachts so you could find it a bit rocky anchored here. If you are going round to the Cove you can cut across between the Bartholomew Ledge and the Woolpack (both marked) and then pick up the stern transit shown on the chart to clear Round Rock. To be sure of clearing Brow ledge and Dropnose Rock wait until the isolated rock at The Hoe is in line with the South end of Saint Agnes before turning from that transit to follow the coast round to the Cove. Be aware of the Little Hakestone rock on entering the cove and favour the Hakestone itself which will be visible at all states of the tide. It would be a very sound idea to use a tripping line on your anchor here and check whether the boats around you are lying to a single anchor or have moored fore and aft.

From Porth Cressa you probably won’t want to bother to go all the way round to Porth Conger in which case it’s just a case of leaving the Wras and Biggal to starboard as you leave Porth Cressa, make for the ECM at Spanish Ledge and once you have rounded that make for the Hoe at the South end of Gugh entering the Cove around the Hakestone.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

You can anchor in Porth Conger, The Cove or,,,,,

.... there is a small bay at the western end of the island, Periglis, which doesn't get a mention; but you'd have to very small and shallow drafted to attempt that.

At the present time there are no harbour dues at St Agnes.

Facilities

Be warned; there is no fuel or water for yachts visiting the island so top up before you come here. The Turks Head is where everyone makes for and they are used to being busy, service is good as is the food. Less known is the High Tide Seafood Restaurant in Middle Town on the island and it’s worth a visit though you would be wise to book ahead. Mind you it will cost you about £30+ per head without wine.  It gets rave reviews.

Other than that, there are some lovely walks circumnavigating the patchwork of small high walled fields.  The islanders take advantage of their mild climate which enables them to crop early spring flowers a good fortnight to three weeks before the rest of Cornwall – the first bunch of daffodils you see in your supermarkets up country will have started from here. By the time you sail here at the back end of May I’m afraid the flower harvest will be finished but earlier in the year it is a hive of activity and a riot of colour. Later in the year you will find a couple of shops on the island marketing bulbs to the passing trade.

Links

Your Ratings & Comments

3 comments
UPDATE SPRING 2021
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 15th Apr 2021
I reviewed these notes in April 2021. I haven't heard of any changes here
UPDATE SPRING 2018
Written by Don Thomson | 3rd May 2018
No changes
Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 12th May 2016
These notes were reviewed by Don in May 2016. No changes.
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