Seal Island

Seals aplenty on Seal Island!

Your journey begins at St.Ives harbour, boarding ‘PRIME TIME’ from the West Pier, Smeatons Pier or New Pier dependent upon the state of the tide. There is a choice of seating arrangements around the boat from where you can choose to view the coastline or other vessels sailing around the bay and coast. Passing the New Pier buoy to port you will approach Porthgwidden beach and its guardian rock ‘Merryn’.

At the northern end of the beach the area known locally as The Island’ with its grassy carpet takes centre stage.


On the top of lamp rock the former coastguard station (now a local base for the National Coastwatch Institution) stands as a sentinal to guard the bay – a friendly wave to the watchkeeper might well achieve a cheery response!

At low water you may sight quarter-tide rock and blood and flesh cave before gazing up at the fishermen’s chapel atop a rock at the Island’s peak.

Carn Everis is soon passed, although at high water this rock (that has caught many a boat unawares), will be hidden from view.

Porthmeor beach appears on your port side – ask the skipper about the wreck of the Alba- the change from gasworks to Tate gallery- water supply source for downalong- mans head- rocket apparatus & stonequarry and you will be surprised what you didn’t know about this area.

Now you face the 5 points (headlands on the coast)- if you have been to seal island before see if you can remember their names.

The journey you take is a leisurely one- not all tripper boats provide seating for their passengers – unlike Prime Time. Fast boats look spectacular beating through swell but can be most uncomfortable and generally very wet with spray – unlike Prime Time.

Situated approximately 6 km west of St.Ives lie the Western Carracks, known colloquially as ‘Seal Island’ because of the colony of seals that have made these rocks their ‘home. On arrival your skipper will take you as close as conditions permit to take photos of the rocks and seals and as our aim is to ensure you obtain your moneys worth we will not shorten your stay to race back for the next group.

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