Following on from the previous post this set once again aims to give a sense of the broader context in which the geese are experienced.
A recent trip up to Scotland gave an opportunity to visit and experience the Gulf of Corryvreckan from close quarters. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to see properly close up for many a year. I’ve passed it by on a number of occasions, first on family holidays back in the sixties then taking my own kids to have a look as we sailed towards Colonsay.
On a recent trip down to Falmouth to attend my youngest daughter’s graduation (Press and Editorial Photography) I was able to grab some time to get out with AK Wildlife Cruises on one of their day long pelagic sea trips.
‘I’ll just leave it for you to see’ were Mike’s words as we were driving through South Shields towards Marsden. He’d mentioned nothing about Kittiwakes, a lift or a pub and as we drove into the car-park none of this trio were evident, but he’d said something about a grotto?
The scheduled August walk had to be cancelled due, would you believe, to bad weather! So a rather quickly arranged date was agreed – we needed and still need to compile enough images that place the walks into a context and time is running out.
A trip up to RSPB Dinas, and a new CCW reserve for me yesterday, proved very productive with regards to the expected species, although the woods did seem a little quiet for this time of year than I remember from previous seasons. I’m wondering if this has anything to do with the lateness of spring in general?
A run up to Dinas, always a favourite haunt, and a good walk around the ‘rock’ past Twm Sion Cati’s cave in still very cold conditions produced some really fine icicles and ice sculptures. It was difficult to get a sense of the beauty through photographs and I felt dissatisfied when I left them, never an easy thing to do, and this disappointment was confirmed when I downloaded the images.
The relationship between the cliff top and the sea has always fascinated me. The space that divides the two is somewhere we rarely venture. I’m not a rock climber and even then you’re still grounded, all be it to a near vertical incline.
We woke to rain, nothing unusual about that, but the van wasn’t shaking and it just felt stiller. Looking out to Handa was just too much, we had planned to move back south today but being opposite the island and now with the possibility that today the boat just might run, we had to give it one last shot. We could move down south a little quicker it was a chance we had to take. It had even stopped raining!
We knew that Handa was a ‘no goer’ today but we still went down to Tarbet where the boat leaves from in more hope than anticipation. Met the boatman coming back in his van, “not a chance today, tomorrow not looking good either”
Leaving Ullapool we travelled up to Scourie and another impressive site, one I’d not stayed on before. You couldn’t really get much closer to the sea here and overlooking Handa, which was to be our last hope of visiting a single off shore island on this journey to Scotland.
We then started the return journey back towards Ullapool and again the weather closed in but was so blustery there was a chance that we could get the odd break in the clouds before the next downpour.
Ardmair was to be our base for the next couple of nights. The last paragraph of my diary entry for our first day sums up what was to be another long but ultimately rewarding day,
…so all in all saw a great sunrise, a magnificent sunset and 16 hours in between which gave very occasional glimpses of the sublime.
Much of my work over the years has been coastal, it’s somewhere were so much is going on; so many processes and changes, it’s continual and in constant flux and has the capacity to take you into a different space and time.
The hour and a half Brendan and I spent on the beach with the tide pushing us back towards the cliffs took me back to my work at Druidston in Pembrokeshire (more posts to follow).
I’ve always been an avid collector of books and despite now owning a Kindle (they do have some advantages), I’ll keep collecting. You commune with books, they become part of you and immersion within them is an experience that is at times intensely personal.