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Susie Copus recalls visiting Skomer Island for the day back in 1955. Susie, and her family, travelled over to the Island on a 20ft open boat.

Recollection as follows:

“Extract from a longer ‘Living in Dale’ article written in 2020.

Now, Skomer Island… access to it was very ad hoc in 1955. We phoned up the fisherman Reuben Codd, who met us on the beach at Martin’s Haven in his 20ft open boat. No life jackets or any kind of safety gear, but the trip over was exciting, scattering the puffins before us, Jack Sound negotiated expertly. The landing was a case of ‘OK, jump out NOW’. We seemed to be the only people on the island that day. We marvelled at the puffins’ tameness, we roamed around watching other birds, avoiding the vicious dive-bombing great black backed gulls, and watched the seals bobbing in the sea below us. The farmhouse, which had been vacated in 1950, was derelict, but we found a cosy and sheltered place and had a picnic.

Bad weather delayed our return trip, but it got late and Reuben said we just had to go. The ‘jump now’ had got more tricky but we all made it. There was a strong smell from discarded fish on board which didn’t help our nerves. My brother chose to lie at the bottom of the boat and I sat in the bows clinging onto both sides at first, but slithered down to join him amongst the fish. My mother was brave, my father seemed unconcerned, but my aunt, terrified of the sea, mouthed protests, went grey and then green. It was really rough, with a strong tide and wind, particularly passing Jack Sound. But Reuben made it back, grounded the boat gently, and we jumped out, getting our feet and legs wet but we didn’t care!

Thank you Mr Codd.”

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