Sunday 27 November 2016

An Afternoon at Findhorn

A kayaker heads out to sea

Sometimes the sea rather than the mountains calls. The wide open space of a vast beach and the surging sea stretching into the distance can feel as wild as any summit. The coast at Findhorn is the nearest to my home and a place I visit several times a year, each time thinking I mustn't leave it so long before I return again.

Findhorn Beach

On this late November afternoon the sky began blue with a bright sun then slowly faded to grey as clouds swept in from the west, thin at first and then gradually thickening and darkening. The tide had just turned and was still high on the beach, roaring against the shingle. Out beyond the crashing waves in calmer water rafts of common scoter ducks floated on the sea, their dark mass dotted with splashes of the white of eider ducks. Oystercatchers ran along the water's edge and gulls soared overhead.

The tide surges

The tide retreats

I wandered down to the sea's edge. The foaming water raced over the sand to lap against my feet then slid back across the barely sloping beach, leaving streaks of white.

By the time I reached the curving shingle spit that marks the curving narrow mouth of Findhorn Bay the sky was mostly clouded, the water pale and shining. A lone kayaker let the racing tide carry his craft out towards the open sea. Out on a sandbank lay the dark silhouettes of seals, their mournfall cries carrying across the water.

The mouth of Findhorn Bay

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