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Thursday, 20 June 2013


At last Kintyre, the sun and myself managed to meet at the right time and appropriate place. With my husband and daughter safely returned from their adventures and my mum along with us for a break, we were able to indulge ourselves in lots of sitting, little work and general laziness.

Our chosen spot was Ardnacross Bay, nestled between Thorn Isle and Seal Rock, over looking Arran and the Kilbrannan sound. Caught between the wild and the ancient we unwound easily and drank in the views as if we would never quench our thirst for the sounds and colours that surrounded us.

The long hours of the night were replaced with the reaching summer gloaming, I never quite saw the dark, not in the black sense. The days darkened but they never lost the light and the moon and the stars appeared only as fleeting visitors in the never-ending twilight.

In this permanent twilight of mid summer the strong silent shadow of wings passed over our grey slate roof, gliding silently to land on the gentle bank above the bay. I caught sight of them as they descended by my window, seconds before the  cardinal buoy blinked its warning across the sea, and into my un-curtained view. It beamed across my wall in short bursts and disappeared in the shadows behind my bed. The Geese came every night to rest on the shore, and though I was ready to sleep I had the distinct impression that things were not about to sleep on the other side of my window.

By night, the geese tucked their heads under their wings, around the bladder-wracked rocks otters hunted, diving through the weed until only the tips of their tails twitched in the air before disappearing under  the water.

By evening and with the with the lowering of the tide seals came up and lay like boulders on Seal rock,  hares raced round the gorse and the yellow iris, or stretched in the evening sun; their large soft eyes seeing all and their twitching ears alert always for threat.

By day, I stepped onto the sand where my footprints were quickly confused with the webbed imprints already on the beach, which were almost as large as my own, and many times more numerous.  Oyster catchers squawked in alarm when I passed too close to their nests. The bay lay in the summer balance with the Ailsa Craigg watching from the horizon.

Shemaron picked her way along the coast setting anchor in the rocky cove, it was good to see her lost in blue as she meandered through her memories coaxing her carvel bow around her old and familiar haunts.

She could be waiting for the herring to rise at some secret location, waiting for the Watchful, and keeping quiet on the radio, so other boats would not follow her and take a share of the haul. Her crew could be attending to the nets and any other task that would keep her in a ready state.

I am home again. I loved  picking my way along the shore each day in search of photos, roll on July and another chance for a trip on the water.

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