When it became clear that Old Light was dysfunctional in the fog, the Battery was built as a signal station, to fire blank shot out to sea every 10 minutes . We spent one afternoon on Quarry Beach, with its giant stones accessed via a rope ladder. The coast on this eastern side of the island has a very different feel, sheltered from the wind and shaded by trees, rhododendrons and Lundy cabbage growing on its gentler slopes. We searched for ages for a letter box in the remains of the Lundy Granite Company quarry. Learn More: Stacks Williams Oates | Settlement Agents Perth
Part of Lundy was wrenched apart in 1755 by the aftershocks of the Lisbon earthquake; we found one box amongst the rocks and fissures that cut down to the island’s roots. Next, the Forgotten Heinkel, down towards the buttresses that plunge into the Atlantic. Miles from anyone, with no mobile phone reception, who would know if we all simply slipped into the water? We followed the clue towards the beak-shaped rock, and sat on the heather, looking out to sea.
The sun was setting and before us was an unbroken stretch of water to America. Sixty feet below, the waves crashed and roared. Seagulls ignored us. Behind us in the rocks, the crankshaft of a crashed Second World War Heinkel 111 bomber was jammed into a fissure. In the log someone wrote, “Last year we thought we’d give Lundy a miss this year, but we’re here again. We did bring a radio – but turning it on felt too intrusive. I forgot all about the DVD I’d thought so essential. Three weeks after we returned home, a postcard dropped on the mat.
It was the one I’d addressed to ourselves on our last day, reading: “Please send this home to us and tell us about your stay. Cameron had placed the card in the plastic box, alongside the ink pad, stamper and note book, wrapped the box up in its plastic bag and put it back in its hiding place. The post card had been filled in: “First visit to Lundy, and had a fantastic week. Am now quite addicted to letter-boxing.