The next stages will take me to the end of the Earth, twice, via the coast of death and I’m a bit apprehensive of what might be in store.
It’s been an unusual day, the kind that you just need to go with and let unfold in front of you. It started with a visit to a pensioners lunch club in Swanscombe on the edge of the Thames near Dartford, followed by a trip to the House of Lords for Afternoon Tea and topped off by an invite to sit in with one of the announcers on Radio 4 whilst they read the late night Shipping Forecast, a rare treat which I gratefully accepted
It’s a dark and cold moonlit night as I stumble out of the car and into the King Ethelberg. A low mist hangs in the air and a security light above the door illuminates it rolling in curls and wisps. The shadowy figures of the two towers of the Roman fort at Reculver emerge, their black, looming silhouettes wrapped in the quilt of the sky.
Heading back, the sky becomes a perfect light show of emerging colours and shapes, the whispy clouds taking the hues of the setting sun. A pink haze grows above the water and brings our the turquoise green of the briny foreground. A gentle gradient washes up to the blue sky which is punctured by the bright white speck of the moon. It’s a beautiful experience and grows in intensity until the surface of the water takes on a fiery orangey red set against the silhouette of houses poking up over the cliffs. It sit and drift in it for a while bobbing around, immersed in the spectacle.
The hollow clanging of the North Red Sands channel marker buoy echoes around in the waves, it has a simple and striking clang and will clang around by itself for time immemorial. Its similarity to a funeral bell has a haunting resonance. The tide is going out and there is movement in the water from left to right mixed with a gentle swell and very light breeze.
I’m met by an interesting sea which is a combination of tide rushing around the sandbank, a slight swell caused by the wind and the breaking waves in the shallows of the sandy waters. Deep troughs form between steep peaks which curl and roll towards the beach. It makes for a fun play spot and I push against it to get far enough away to surf back in again
The water is shallow and clear, mesmerising almost, as the sun shines through it and cast shadows and patterns onto the sandy bed. The thin lines of the rippling surface make strips of sunlight that dance and jump along the sandy seabed. It’s a hot and still day and the water merges with the sky giving the sense of hovering about the water