On a bright summery day St. Ives was picturesque with its Victorian homes perched on high cliffs overlooking wide sandy beaches and bright blue water. The ratio of water to sand varied widely throughout the day as the tide moved in and out. This used to be a town that made its living from the tin and copper mines in the hills above and the fish from the sea. There is still some fishing going on, but St. Ives has become a tourist mecca and an artist colony full of tiny galleries and studios and the Tate St. Ives art museum. On a rainy day we might have made it to the Tate, but on a gorgeous day we opted for a boat ride. Due to the low tide we started on a tiny boat which ferried us out to the deeper water and the tour boat.
The purpose of the boat ride was to visit a colony of about forty seals, but for us seeing the town from the water was reason enough. The seals have it good. When the tide is high they go fishing, but as the water recedes, it deposits them on the rocks where they were enjoying the warm sun today. Generally they are not motivated to move much during low tide, but could flop back into the water if danger intruded. Unlike the seals we have seen on our side of the pond, these seals were quiet and did not smell bad. Proper British reserve.
There are some foodstuffs that we are encountering regularly in Cornwall; the pasty is #1. This doughy crescent was filled with meat, vegetables, and potatoes and taken into the tin mines by the workers. The dough is heavy and make a nice container for the contents without any sort of wrapper. Miners took them to work for lunch and warmed them over their lanterns. We have tried them here and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where many of the miners immigrated after the mines closed here. Even if they are filled with something tasty like strawberries and blueberries, they sit like leaden balls in the stomach. Far more delicious are the pastries served with clotted cream, an extra heavy whipped cream. The name serves as a constant reminder of what's happening to your arteries as you enjoy the tasty confection. We would give the seafood we've had so far rave reviews. The prawn (shrimp) sandwich I had today was to die for and the Port Isaac crab sandwiches had a seasoned sauce that bears repeating.