Treasure Hunt

Spoiler alert: This post has nothing to do with geocaching.

Alright, so you are still reading this despite the above. After the excitement of the family wedding, we found ourselves with some spare days before the sun stopped shining and we had to head back to Hertfordshire. We decided to visit the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, which would involve either a very long detour around the rivers Fal and Tresillian or a short cut across the Fal via the King Harry Ferry. We took the second option.

The King Harry Ferry is not really a boat, it’s  a chain ferry – more of a moving bridge in fact – and it has has been in operation since 1888. I can vaguely remember making the crossing as a lad when on holiday with my parents. No, not in the 1800’s you cheeky sod! Luckily being out of season we didn’t have to wait long to board the ferry and we were soon enjoying the peace and quiet of the crossing.

king harry ferry 1 king harry ferry 2 king harry ferry 3

Once on the other bank,we set off for the seal sanctuary. We had a good wander around before watching the sanctuary care team feeding the seals. The sanctuary do a sterling job of rescuing and rehabilitating abandoned and injured seals, always with the aim of releasing them back into the wild once they are ready.

seals1 seals 3 seals 2

More details on their website and I recommend a visit if you are ever down that way. They also have some resident otters – another endangered species thanks to the gradual loss of their natural habitat.


After leaving the seals we drove past RNAS Culdrose which, because the Royal Navy always names its bases like ships, is also known as HMS Seahawk. The Navy have thoughtfully provided a legitimate viewing area on the perimeter so we parked up for a while and watched the SAR Sea Kings and the more tactical Merlins coming and going. I’ve posted a few pictures although they aren’t brilliant (I hadn’t packed my long lens – we had more than enough luggage already).

SAR sea king Merlin  culdrose merlin 2culdrose merlin 3

Earlier, while we were enjoying the sights and smells of the seal sanctuary, my wife and I had realised that this was the location of an episode of the TV programme “Treasure Hunt”. Actually, my wife told me she knew all along and was just waiting for the penny to drop in my head before mentioning it.

Anyway, those of you who are old enough may remember this programme; Kenneth Kendall in the studio with a couple of contestants and a room full of reference books (don’t forget this was very definitely pre-google!) guiding Anneka Rice in her helicopter from one clue to the next. No? Well this may help. Anyway, in this particular episode from 1984, Anneka had to fly to HMS Seahawk for a clue then on to the seal sanctuary where she had to jump into one of the seal pools to retrieve the treasure. At this point I must ‘fess up and admit that I haven’t remembered all the details from 1984, we happened to see this particular episode a few weeks back on (I think) the Challenge TV channel. Ahh, the inexhaustible benefits of cable TV.

 (credit Martin Underwood)

Now I’m wondering, did watching Treasure Hunt all those years ago embed something in my subconscious which, many years later, developed into an interest in geocaching?