News from Avannaq 2011
Published on 27.05.2011 - Avannaq 2011
The sloop Avannaq 2011 left Penzance yesterday but the weather turned poor, forcing the french sailors to take shelter somewhere on their way.
Here is what they wrote : "We are stranded in St Mary, Isles of Scilly while we are waiting for the storm to recede. We are relatively protected although the last 24 hours have been very eventful ..."
Scilly consists of 5 inhabited islands; St. Mary's, Tresco, St. Martin's, Bryher and St Agnes, with a combined population of about 2000, and many smaller uninhabited islands and rocky islets. The islands' position produces a place of great contrast - the ameliorating effect of the sea means we rarely have frost or snow, which allows local farmers to grow flowers well ahead of those on mainland Britain while the exposure to the Atlantic winds means spectacular winter gales lash the islands from time to time. This is reflected in the landscape, most clearly seen on Tresco where the lush Sub-Tropical Abbey Gardens on the sheltered Southern end of the island contrast with the low heather and bare rock sculpted by the wind on the exposed Northern end.
Scilly has been inhabited since stone-age times and its history has been one of subsistence living until this century with people living from the land and the sea. Farming and fishing continues today, but the main industry now is tourism. Obviously the sea has always played a huge part in Scillonian history but it was in the nineteenth century that Scilly had its maritime heyday. Beaches which are now enjoyed by sunbathers were then factories for shipbuilding, the harbours now full of pleasure boats were once packed with local and visiting fishing and trading boats.
Do not forget to visit the two galleries already published since the start of Avannaq 2011 in Normandy.