The lady of the sea

On sunny days an old lady makes her way across the golden bay to the far end to sit in seclusion at the ancient Cornish haven of Port Wrinkle where once millions of pilchards were landed annually & pressed for their oil and packed into barrels at the Pilchard Cellars above the old horseshoe shaped harbour.

The old lady carries her light collapsible chair along with a sunshade parasol to ‘her’ regular spot near the water’s edge, gazing out at the sea and vast expanse of Whitsand bay, dominated by the great headland of Rame Head to the east surmounted by it’s medieval chapel.

Having set up her chair and parasol in her preferred spot, she spends hours each day during the Spring and Summer months simply watching the sea. What has happened here? What draws her back year after year to this beautiful vantage spot. Did she have a husband or son who was drowned at sea. She is such a lonely figure.

Sometimes the sea is flat calm and shafts and stars of sunlight bounce off the surface of the sea. Other times it is stormy and the waves crash on the rocks as the surf thunders up the beach. When the tide comes up she moves her chair back. Storms and heavy seas continually sculpture the beach as if a giant hand has moved hundreds and on occasion thousands of tons of sand out to sea. Bringing in tons of seaweed from the bottom of the bay. Surprisingly large boulders and rocks are tossed around the beach by the waves creating an ever changing scene.

The old Lady abandons her chair at lunch time for the long trek along the water’s edge to the harbour & up the steep slipway to her ancient stone and slated fisherman’s cottage with it’s white window frames and gossip door to have her lunch only to return about an hour later. She is recognisable by her wide brimmed straw sun hat worn above a blue cotton smock over sail cloth trousers. She is always alone and never speaks to anyone. She seems to be wrapped up in her own thoughts, staring at the sea, as though she could bring someone back. Perhaps a Fisherman or a Sailor who was lost at sea. Could it be a husband or a son lost at sea off Port Wrinkle amongst the treacherous reefs off Port Wrinkle. Hers is a constant vigil.


Written by: Susie Groom

The following two tabs change content below.


I live on a working farm in Devon which was started with just one cow! I am a Grandmother of 6. I enjoy walking on Dartmoor, sailing, travel and reading.

Latest posts by wallers2 (see all)

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!