Letter from Lundy: Fishermen save Christmas as foggy weather stops flights

Fishermen helped save the day for Christmas guests.

Fishermen helped save the day for Christmas guests. - Credit: Archant

Assistant warden Siân Scott looks back at Christmas and New Year on Lundy Island in this month’s Letter from Lundy...

The winners of the New Year's Eve fancy dress competition.

The winners of the New Year's Eve fancy dress competition. - Credit: Archant

We had 67 visitors join us for Christmas, and they all arrived on the island in dramatic fashion after thick fog prevented our usual helicopter service running from Hartland Point.

But cancelling Christmas was certainly out of the question, and in true Lundy style, everyone pulled together to formulate a new plan.

Three local fishermen saved the day by kindly offering their vessels to get everyone over.

For those of you who were fortunate to visit the island at some point in 2017, you probably would have seen St Helen’s Church swaddled in scaffolding, but she was released just before Christmas and her doors were flung open to welcome a cheer of carol singers.

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After such a dormant season for the church, it really was a joy to hear our sacred space reverberating with festive voices, and it felt like Christmas had officially begun on the island.

On the day itself, the Marisco Tavern was a cheerful haze of mulled wine, cracker jokes and family spirit, and with a jingle of their Santa hats the staff wove their way around the tables to serve everyone a fine festive feast.

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Stepping into the Tavern for New Year’s Eve, you would have been forgiven for thinking you had taken a very wrong turn and ended up at an eclectic Hollywood after-party, as the space was a mingle of famous characters from Ace Ventura, Mia Wallace and Ellen Ripley, to the more ethereal White Queen, Robin Hood and Sinbad the sailor.

In terms of conservation, it was the best year for our Puffins since the seabird census began in 1981, and it was the sixth most prolific year since records began for our endemic Lundy cabbage.

An incredible 3,254 birds were ringed on the island this year, giving us a greater understanding of our avian inhabitants.

More people joined us for guided walks, snorkel safaris, and Lundy lamb pasties than ever before, as 11,400 visitors came for a day-trip and 5,573 stayed in one of our unique properties.

With so many experiencing the unusual delights and inspiring landscapes of Lundy, isn’t it about time you booked your visit for 2018?

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