...to the lonely sea and the sky.... So goes the poem Sea-Fever
by John Masefield that I had learned at school. And I really did have to go and walk by the sea one day last week. Quite a strong need I had. It was a bit of a wild day, with sudden sharp showers blown in on blustery winds, between sunshine and blue skies.
This is my nearest bit of coast, about twenty minutes drive, thats all. And this is a hidden bit of coastal path, off the beaten tourist track. A narrow lane to nowhere with an amazing view.
You can look back south along the pebble ridge of Chesil Beach, (and the section of water behind it called The Fleet) to the Isle of Portland, which is actually attached and not an island at all. It looked a bit wild and desolate as I dodged the showers.
Also with the same view is a layby at the top of the hill out of Abbotsbury, where in summer an icecream van is usually parked. The lady inside needed the aerial to provide her with some entertainment - it was a quiet day for tourists and a bit lonely up there.
However, someone stopped. But the cows on the other side of the road were extremely interested - perhaps it was local ice cream, maybe even from their herd? Who knows!
I decided to go to the small car park on the coast at West Bexington - just a car park, a small café and the public toilets with the best view in England! Its on the Chesil Beach which shelves steeply and the waves had been whipped up by the wind.
The second verse of the poem came to mind...
|I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide|
|Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;|| |
|And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,|| |
|And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.|
The air was damp with sea spray, exactly as in the poem. The waves crashed onto the pebbles sending the spray into the air and sending foam up to the bottom of the first ridge where I stood in safety.
But despite the strong wind (I had trouble opening the car door against it) a couple were determined to enjoy a day on the beach. They used several windbreaks to huddle behind, to create an almost totally enclosed space, I think
they were reading the papers. But the dog had heard me crunching along on the pebbles and had come outside to see who was mad enough to be out on a day like this - apart from his hardy owners that is!
I had a wonderful time, and came back with the cobwebs blown away and with salt spray tasting on my lips.