Marsh and mudflat

Sea Buckthorn

Sea Buckthorn

Theddlethorpe Dunes Nature Reserve, Lincolnshire.

It’s not exactly beautiful. Marram-crested dunes; a dense thicket of sea buckthorn that stretches for miles; stony sand; a wide band of marshland, freshwater and saltwater; then a shiny brown slick of mud stretching to the horizon. You can’t even see the sea.  Read more…

Red Crane

The low level rocks cliffs around Portland Bill are not the easiest of places to launch a boat from – no gentle slipway or sloping beach from which to slide your boat into the water. Instead you will need to use one of these.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Read more…

Beer promenade-smaller

Beer Scooter

Sometimes I visit Beer, the alluringly named Devon village where my sister lives. To adult eyes, Beer’s long, dramatic promenade offers fine opportunities for photos and bracing strolls.

Fortunately I have a three-year-old nephew to remind me that a promenade is actually a giant race track, an adventure playground, a stage for daredevil stunts and a chance to play chicken with larger kids on rollerskates…

Beer promenade Isaac-smaller

nottage

There was once a sailor called Captain Nottage. He was an army office not a sea captain, but he loved racing yachts and held his professional crew in high regard. Like many racing skippers of the time he recruited smacksmen from the Essex coast, the Colne and Blackwater, as they had a well deserved reputation for seamanship and speed.

Read more…

Black beaches turned white

Something about the sea always makes me feel at home. But the other day, driving in the dark along an invisible east coast of Iceland, I did wonder if it was a bit crazy to have chosen come here at this time of year. Most visitors to East Iceland come in high summer when they can sightsee at any hour of the day or night. When the mountain passes close due to winter snowfalls, journey times double. The shorter routes across the highlands are first to go, and we were now having to zigzag around the East Fjords on the coast road. Actually quite fun, but it would have been better had we been able to see the landscape. At this time of year, of course, available light is distinctly limited.
But this morning, opening my curtains to see fresh fluffy snow right down to the harbour, I’ve no regrets. Another upside is, the local airport has become a fabulous place for a mid-winter walk. The long white runway brings you out to a black-sand beach that at this time of year is more white than black. This sign briefly makes me wonder if it’s safe to be here, and I feel much safer after meeting the local mayor who is going for a jog along the runway.
This last picture was taken by an Icelandic friend. Although standing next to me moments earlier, Skuli made sure to take a hike when he saw this coming. I missed the clue offered by his sudden departure, so was drenched in ICY salt water. Fortunately my camera and I survived. Recommended, in fact, but not if you catch cold easily.

 

Eulogy to Pom-Pom Rock

Pompomrock

One of the casualties of this winter’s storms is Pom-Pom rock – a sea stack that used to stand just to the east of Portland Bill. Read more…

January Ice

The rusty shank of a mushroom mooring anchor reminds us how busy it is around here in other seasons.

The rusty shank of a mushroom mooring anchor reminds us how busy it is around here in other seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It takes a real cold spell here, to freeze the harbor up shore to shore. Those days, when the sun is nothing more than a dirty snowball in the Southern sky, the wind whips across the flat, white expanse. It kicks up little, corniced snowdrifts at the edges, atop rocks and quay walls.

But February is almost here, and the winds will blow a few degrees warmer. When you stand perfectly still, you can hear the ice complaining as if it knows its time will soon be over. Coughs and ragged, grinding moans increase whenever a puff gives movement to the water beneath. Enough movement and cracks form, then re-freeze and reform until the breakup begins in earnest after a few days of temperatures higher than freezing. It’s a deceptively restless time.

Any day now, the rafts of Brant geese and Buffleheads will have more open water to warm up in. Already, along the western-most edges of the shoreline, the ice is giving way. A patchwork of shuffling ice floes heaves and falls at the transition and already a few courageous boats have plowed their way through. making paths in and out, to the open Bay beyond.

This dinghy has just broken free of the ice sheet.

This dinghy has just broken free of the ice sheet.

This January was the first in many years that we’ve seen the harbor freeze over thicker than a light morning skin that’s gone by noon. In a few weeks, the harbor will clear completely, but this morning looking out over the ice, I recall stories from the winter of 1926, when the Bay froze thick enough that several Model T- era automobiles drove out to the lighthouse to race around it leaving big circular tire tracks in the snow. We won’t be seeing those this year. The water’s anxious to get back to its regular jobs of beating on the shoreline and carrying birds and boats wherever they choose to go.

 

 

February's just around the corner.

Huntington, NY: February’s just around the corner.

Shingle stones – much more than meets the eye …

Suffolk Shingle photographed  by Tony Eveling

Suffolk Shingle by Tony Eveling – http://gallery.tonyeveling.com/

from Kate Osborne, Touching the Tide Project Officer ,  Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

Read more…

Mural map of the Grand Harbour

A Sea Fortress

The archipelago of Malta is tiny. Even on the island of Malta itself, you are never more than about five miles from the sea.

Malta’s importance, however, has always outstripped its size. It has been a crucial stepping stone and stronghold in the Mediterranean, surrounded by tempting natural harbours and calm, shallow seas.

View of sunset Valletta domes from Hastings Garden2 -adjusted-smaller

Read more…

After the Storms

Chesil

The past few weeks have seen our shores being battered by a succession of storms, sweeping in from the Atlantic, hammering winds and driving rain, lumping the sea into a huge swell to pound at our cliffs and beaches. Read more…

Load More