My first love is the sea. I cannot tell you why but standing next to the shore, in a boatyard, harbour or just in an estuary I feel real peace. Just listening to the noises of the area. Be it the ticking of halyards against the mast or the long calls of birds in the emptiness I feel an escape like nowhere else. A deep release, I do not get there often enough.
So, it was with some excitement that I went to Covehithe on the Suffolk coast a couple of weeks ago. Next to the shore, an ancient church stands that has been allowed to fall into disrepair and a smaller one built inside.
The coast here is under constant attack from the sea and the soft shale and mud erode very quickly leaving some low-lying cliffs. The old course of the footpath can be seen and where the new one tracks along about 10ft further inland. This was the reason for my visit here. My arrival there coincided with rain then some hail. Not knowing the area, I followed the path to some salt marshes before I actually got onto the beach.
This is not a lie down for the day but my first reccy of the area. A walk to the beach to get an overall impression of where I would be spending the next few hours. This was a 5-mile hike, as I have said along to the beach then along the shoreline to the next stop where the erosion has left some trees on the beach open to salt water, wind and rain.
I have seen these trees before in images from other people and to be honest I did not go far enough along the beach another mile or so would have taken me to a much better place. Even so, these were good subject so back to the car get my gear and start with the church before the hike back to the beach then back along to my original footpath.
The rain and hail cleared up and the sun came out It was a serene way to spend some time. Listening to the soft sound of the waves dragging sand and pebbles down into the sea. To see the water, wash up and around the slowly decaying trees leaving little trails of foam. To sit and feel the light breeze around me. The Gulls wheeling and twisting overhead and the sun playing on the undulating sea.
As with all these things, the time runs out and I had to leave this little piece of tranquillity and move on. Not least because I was hungry. Next stop Southwold a small town 5 minutes along the coast where they brew Adnams beer.
Fish and chips on the seafront and a wander around the town just looking for opportunities some presented themselves and worked some, just didn’t.
The truth behind this day is that when I awoke, I did not want to go. I had to push myself to drive there. Really pleased I did as it was a superb day. The drive back with the roof down along twisting Suffolk roads only made the day better. This day will stay with me for a long time, not the images which were OK but how I felt to be in my natural element. Away from the crowds away from the hustle and hassle of everyday life taking a step back and just enjoying, if not, what is on my doorstep but at least within shouting distance.
What is sad though, is that day can never be repeated. The thoughts and feelings I had while there were special to that day. While I may go back and feel good it will not be the same, things change and move on, as they should do, and we should not chase what has gone but be open to new ones and let those inform our photography each time we go out
If you have read this far then thank you. If you want to see images from this day and other trips they can be found HERE on my Instagram