A note from our newest Water Taxi Skipper
As a boy in the Isles of Scilly I always wanted to be a boatman, but accidentally ran away to sea. After 38 years of driving ships around it finally dawned on me that what I really wanted was to be was a boatman. So after 19 years as a Falmouth Pilot I took early retirement and was lucky enough to be offered a job as skipper of the Mylor Water Taxi.
She’s a sweet little boat with a superb engine. It’s great fun juggling the various mooring numbers to work out the best route, and I find boat handling quite therapeutic, but of course the real joy is meeting the passengers. It’s all a steep learning curve but hopefully I’ll have got the hang of it by the end of October – although it might be Oct 2020! I shan’t miss the endless walk up the valley to find my car after a 13 hour shift though!
I also do a few days a week with the National Maritime Museum’s “Heritage Boat Tours” where I skipper the classic 1934 wooden gentlemen’s launch “Jonik”. This neatly combines by love of wooden boats and interest in maritime history and is a grand way to spend an afternoon.
My own boat is the “Soleil d’Or”, a one-off VIP launch from the Isles of Scilly. She’s 43 foot long, built of Burma Teak and looks like a 1930’s steam boat. When I bought her 4 years ago Mylor did a lot of work on her to get her seaworthy. She’s due back soon for the necessary work to get her certified for carrying passengers.
(Find out more about Soleil d’Or’s refurb HERE>)
Cheers for now,
Dave “boat driver to the stars” Pickston