Dawn, North Sea c.1995
I’ve been rummaging through some old photographs lately and came across a couple of wallets with ‘On the Boat’ written on the front. Well that was the next couple of hours taken care of. Sometimes it’s necessary to peer into the past to get a bearing on the future.
A week that has seen the apparent beginning of Spring, and some varied conditions down at the beach and in the sea. On the the way down to the sea, across field and marsh, that exquisite and uplifting little creature, the skylark, sings its dawn proclamation. Rodney Pybus describes perfectly this scene in his poem ‘Silly Season’: “a lark, unreeling, untangling the threads of his song, ancient in its freshness, high climbing almost out of sight, climbing till he may be something on the eye, but the notes still falling brightness from just imaginable tiers of heaven no less divine because merely sky, and seely Suffolk swings giddy on its season.”
28 February 2014
The steady easterly breeze this morning blew the sound of the sea over the dunes enabling it to be heard before it could be seen; puffing and shunting like a purposeful old steam locomotive. Accompanying this arresting clatter was the heady aroma of salt and invisible shipping.
6 February 2014
More often than not at this time of year when walking down to the sea I find the words of the Aldeburgh poet, George Crabbe echoing in my mind, in particular his ‘Fragment Written at Midnight’. Even though being a piece written in the dead of night, I feel it has a relevance in this dark time of year, when the sea is as unpredictable as it is black and unsettling:
"Still I pass on, and now before me find
The restless ocean, emblem of my mind;
There wave on wave, here thought on thought succeeds,
Their produce idle works, and idle weeds:
Dark is the prospect o’er the rolling sea…”
"I must go down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide is a wild call and a clear call that cannot be denied." John Masefield
8 January 2014
Despite a stiff SSW breeze over the last couple of days, the sea has been quite placid and non-threatening, which seems all the more unusual given the assault taking place in other parts of the country. The walk down this morning was just in time to catch a huge filtered orb rising out of the grey horizon.
6 January 2014
A relatively mild trek down to the beach with Bud at dawn was rewarded with an amiable and tranquil swim. The tides are finally at the low end again, and is a relief from stepping off ‘the shelf’ that results from heavy backwash from the waves when the tide is high. Lately, the relentless stormy weather has made it challenging in the sea, and also on the motorcycle. Today was a welcome and very much savoured taste of spring, even if it is still a long way off.