We have been at the Cellars this weekend experiencing Storm Callum. As it was a southerly wind and the Cellars faces East we did not get the brunt of the wind in the cove. Porthleven and Penance did and we saw pictures on TV of both places getting a battering. Above is a picture of Porthleven taken during another storm by photographer Berni Petersen. We did try walking round to Bass point on Friday afternoon but gave up half way as the wind was so strong it did not feel safe or pleasant.
On Saturday night as we were watching Strictly we became aware of a helicopter hovering over the sea just out from the cove and there was a boat as well really close to the helicopter which we thought must be the lifeboat. It was pitch black so it was their lights we could see. We assumed it was a practise session whilst the seas were rough given it was just out from the cove.
But on Sunday morning in the Lizard newsagent I overheard that a lifeboat volunteer had been hurt whilst on the Lizard lifeboat during a rescue of a broken down French trawler and taken to hospital so we realised that it was a rescue for real that we had seen from the Cellars window! I then read on the Falmouth Packet on line that the lizard lifeboat had been towing the trawler for 7 hours when an injury was sustained by a lifeboat volunteer. The trawler had broken down 22 nautical miles south of the Lizard. After the injury the Falmouth Lifeboat took over and the Lizard lifeboat obviously headed for smoother waters near us to allow the coastguard rescue helicopter to airlift the volunteer and taken him to hospital. A hard job to do in the pitch black and rough seas. Below shows a practise rescue we saw a while back during daylight hours. Hopefully the volunteer will be alright. It does make you realise what a dangerous job it is they volunteer for!
But by Sunday afternoon the sun returned and the wind had gone. We did a circular walk around Predannack, south of Mullion, which includes a lovely coastal walk on grass above the cliffs. As we walked through a farmer’s field we saw a few blackberries still out and sloes both of which I mentioned on a previous blog in terms of what you can do with them and the health benefits. We also saw hawthorn berries which were mentioned on a recent guided foraging walk I did at home in Surrey on the estate of a National Trust property. Tiffany Francis the young lady who took the walk did it as part of the promotion of her book ‘Food you can Forage’ as this was one of the Guildford Literary festival events. Tiffany was a very knowledgeable and likeable young lady. One of the things she said you can do with hawthorn berries is fill a jar with them (with glass or plastic lid as vinegar corrodes metal) and pour in apple cider vinegar and shake every day for three weeks. After that strain it and use as a base for salad dressing. I also read that it helps digestion if you have a teaspoon before eating as mentioned in https://www.thealternativedaily.com/health-benefits-of-hawthorn-berries/
So I might have to have a go at doing this especially as I had heard before how good hawthorn berries (and the leaves and flowers) are for heart health. This is a link to a very interesting article that talks about this and it says in Europe thousands of Doctors prescribe hawthorn to prevent cardiovascular disease https://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/articles-on-herbs-and-health/hawthorn-for-the-heart/
At one time, hawthorn was referred to as the “bread and cheese tree.” as the flowers, berries and leaves are all edible. Apparently it was a lifesaver during famines. Interesting!
Some other interesting things Tiffany mentioned was that you can add oak leaves to rum for a period of time to change the flavour. Plus you can make acorn coffee! Fascinating! See how to in http://foragedfoods.co.uk/how-to-make-acorn-coffee/ Down around the Helford river you can find oak trees as not too many trees of any kind around the Cellars.
I would like to do a foraging walk around the Lizard coastline. I was amused to read that the coastline is a good place to forage as there are no poisonous berries or potentially fatal fungi!