Martin Symons

Promoting Challenges for Disabled People

Lundy Island Adventure 2006

This trip was aimed at exploring some of Lundy Island, approximately 12 miles off the north west coast of Devon in the Bristol Channel.

We boarded the MS Oldenburgh, Lundy Island’s own passenger ship for our 2 hour crossing over the Bristol Channel.

On arrival at the jetty on the island, we gave the ventilator to one of the ship’s crew to take up to the office in the land rover, and then started to make our way up the dirt track. Apart from a couple of land rovers and a tractor and trailer there was no other transport. You could only get around by walking.

As we walked up we kept looking back out into the harbour and now and again we could see seals heads keep popping up but too far away to take photos.

Our accommodation was called the Old Light which was the accommodation for the lighthouse master which was attached to the island’s original lighthouse which was built in 1820. We went to the top of the light house and had a wonderful view of the island. In about 1829, the lighthouse was put out of commission because as it was situated on Beacon Point, the highest point on the island. During times of mist and fog, ships couldn’t see the light because it was too high. Two smaller lighthouses were built, one each end of the island.

First day we explored the southern part of the island – warm and sunny. We had great views of the coastline of Devon. Because the electricity generator was switched off from midnight to 6am, I had to take a battery pack for the ventilator. This was the first time since having respiratory failure in 2001 that I have been off mainland UK. I was bit unsure what to expect, but it all went OK.

Later in the day, we went to the top of the lighthouse and had great views around the island.

That night we went to the Marisco Tavern (the island’s only pub) to eat. By the time we left, it was quite windy and I was carried back drunk!!!!!!!!!

Second day; we walked north across the airstrip and saw lots of bird life, 2 silka deer and lots of skeletal remains of rabbits.

Third day; Ben Sampson, the island’s warden came early to pick up our luggage. He had arranged with John the day before that he would take us to visit the north end of the island in the land rover.

Ben was going to check the rat traps that had been placed around that part of the island. About 2 years ago, rats managed to get over and managed to wipe out the puffin population. Thankfully they managed to eradicate them and now have started a breeding programme to reintroduce the puffin. Lundy is actually Nordic for Puffin.

Once again we had excellent views of sea and throughout our stay we kept looking out for dolphins and seals. We did just managed to see some seals bobbing their heads in the water.

At one point I had to be held because it got quite windy and nearly got blown away. Then the heavens opened.

We also saw the island’s second working lighthouse.

After Ben had finished his recky, we drove slowly back to the south part where all the accommodation are located and headed straight for the pub to eat.

Later after lunch (and buying up half the shop) we headed back down to the boat for our return journey to the mainland, taking a different route down.

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