Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Berwick to Berwick

Mrs CWW doesn't like to have her menfolk cluttering up the house, so she was happy to enough to transport us out of the country to set off from Berwick on Tweed. The idea was a journey from England to Elie. Planning a trip round some alliteration is probably a bit daft, but it had a nice ring to it. Unfortunately it didn't quite work out.

CWW junior(2) and I set off north from the mouth of the Tweed. Normally I like to keep close to the coast, admiring the scenery and so on. Junior, however, prefers a wider line somewhere out near the oil rigs. It wasn't until Eyemouth that I could make out much on the shore.
It being tea time, we stopped for some chips before heading on towards St Abbs.

When I first thought of this trip I was thinking of 4 leisurely days. Junior, however, doesn't really do the hanging about the campfire bit, so we pressed on round St Abbs Head, with no prospect of camping before nightfall. On the plus side we had a gentle following breeze, on the minus we had little time for exploration, and the cliffs were already in the shade from a setting sun.
We came across a shelf of grass at the Hirst Rocks, a wee way short of Pease Bay, just as the light went completely.In the morning light the red rocks glowed spectacularly. There is no digital manipulation of the colours in these photographs. A curious old boatshed would have made a reasonable bivvi, though rather damp.

First stop of the morning was Torness power station. With a gentle tide against us, we could feel the water warming about a kilometre before we reached it. Close to the coolant outflow, the sea temperature was tropical.

We had been toying with trying to cross the Firth of Forth on the same day, but a headwind was making progress hard work, and we were getting tired as we passed the Bass Rock.

Instead, we made an earlier than usual camp in Canty Bay, just short of North Berwick. We had the luxury of putting tents up by daylight, and there was time to play with the camera before complete darkness. We were both quite tired after several hours straight into a force 3/4. Despite being a short distance from the town, the beach had a remote feel to it. The lights of the Bass Rock and Isle of May were winking, and ships were passing regularly.

Despite the serenity of the evening, the forecast was bad, and I didn't sleep well due to heavy rain and gusts of wind. I was finally woken by a phone call- an alarm company telling me there was an intruder at work! After 20 years first on their call list, it was a pleasure to tell them that someone else would have to check it out. I then stuck my head out of the tent and was surprised to find the sun shining and the sea looking smooth. We rushed out, breakfastless, to see if the Forth crossing was on.
It rapidly became apparent that it wasn't. It was breezy and getting breezier. By the time we had struggled up to North Berwick, the sea was alive with white horses.

We summoned the RAC (rescue a canoe) service, staffed by Little Miss CWW. This was very good of her, as it was a long drive with a small car and 2 big kayaks in a strong wind. She was also still in bed when we phoned.
All in all, still a good trip, even though the alliteration changed from EE to BB.

Berwick Law

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