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To Bigbury on Sea

puddleshark's photos infected me with the desire to go to the sea, and for no particular reason, philmophlegm and I decided to go into Devon, to Bigbury on Sea.   I've not been there since shortly after I adopted Mollydog.  

We took her there for one of her first off-lead trials - with a dog that can run at over forty miles an hour, there is always something of a question in your mind  when you first take the lead off :  will she choose to come back, or will she go on running?   So, lots of space and a cliff between you and the nearest road is very handy.    It was a very calm day and the sea was like a sheet of glass.  We all learned something that day.  The humans learned that Mollydog would come back.  And Mollydog learned that even if they run really, really fast, greyhounds cannot run on water... 

Forty miles an hour may be a bit much for a pair of old dogs now, but they still had a good go:

Bigbury on Sea is a huge beach with an island in the middle that is connected to the mainland at low tide by a firm way over the sand, but a true island at high tide. There's a hotel on the island where Agatha Christie set a book with a particularly period title. There's a pub, too. Here's a view over the beach connecting the island to the mainland. 

The beach goes on for quite a way west of the island and there are nice views of the cliffs. 

View of the sea between the end of the Western cliffs and the start of the island.

Oh all right, here is a proper view of the island without a haring dog in it (she did slow down eventually!) That bizarre looking vehicle on the slipway is the Bigbury Sea Tractor, which is used to get to and fro from the island when the tide is in. 

There are some lovely rockpools and we saw a lot of little fish and some decorative shrimps in them, but they were too quick to photograph, so here are some rather lovely green sea anemones instead.

The photo below isn't a particularly pretty view but I thought it was really interesting.  On the right is the Burgh Island hotel, an Art Deco building built in the 30's, and on the left on the concrete pillars are a couple of modern buildings with lots of glass, built in that modern seaside-driftwoody style  that I think are probably holiday cottages.  So, two very different luxury holiday buildings, all about frivolity.   And sandwiched neatly between the two of them in both space and time, a Second World war machine gun post, all about desperation and last defences and naked survival.  

There were a great number of kite surfers out, as it was a windy day. Kite surfing seems to be really difficult. There was a chap that arrived while we were having lunch, with his kite - it took him about half an hour to tow his kite against the breeze to the sea, and then all the while we were walking along the beach, he kept trying to get his kite up and it kept falling in the sea. He is not one of the capable surfers in the photo below. I thought the water in the foreground was just more sea, but in fact when we got back to the car and looked at the map, we realised quite a bit of it was actually the River Avon. Not the famous one, but presumably another river where some Anglo Saxon said 'Oi! You Briton! What do you call this thing?" "Avon"...

We had sausage, bacon and egg paninis for lunch. Nom. Az has mostly got over his 999 'things that Az is scared of' nowadays and is generally a very happy chap, but apparently one thing that he is still scared of is cafes. What a weird fear. He hid under the table, though he was not too scared to eat half a bacon,sausage and egg panini. Mollydog, in contrast, was delighted to be entertained in the manner to which she would like to be more accustomed. I remembered to bring her fleecy blanket, because it is the Rule that Mollydog must have something soft to sit on.  

He cheered up once we got away from the terror that was a beach cafe.

Some of the rocks were patterned with thousands of oddly square holes. I thought this one looked like a sort of rock-city. Maybe one day I shall photoshop in curtains at some of the windows and people looking out of them.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
30th Oct, 2011 06:57 (UTC)
I love the contrast between ScaredyAz under the table, and GrinningAz in the next picture. And the legs of a running dog caught frozen mid-run look weird. Like with horses. The (wrong) way artists always painted gallopy horses can still look more natural and "realistic" than the real way they run, as revealed when photography got itself invented.

The other weekend, I saw a kite surfer being towed very fast towards the shore, then up the beach, then onto the sloping village green that adjoins the beach, then fast up the green towards the pub. I lost sight of him at that point, but I like to imagine that hours later, he'd reached the opposite coast of the island, and was continuing over to France.
30th Oct, 2011 07:16 (UTC)
Yep, that was something that freaked me out when I made a couple of abortive attempts to learn kite-surfing -- the fact that if the wind changes you can get pulled out of the sea and whacked against a cliff or something... -N
30th Oct, 2011 18:25 (UTC)
OUCH. Windsurfing is one thing, but kitesurfing just seems a step too far in the direction of sacrificing yourself to the breeze.
30th Oct, 2011 18:24 (UTC)
Believe it or not, these are the running pics where I thought their legs looked more probable, rather than mad flailing bundles of limbs. Next time maybe I will post the outtakes instead of the good pix!

Poor kitesurfer. I felt sorry for the one we saw who could not Get It Up, but it sounds like worse things happen at sea (or, on kite).
30th Oct, 2011 09:46 (UTC)
It's so lovely to see dogs enjoying themselves on a beach!
30th Oct, 2011 18:26 (UTC)
Molls in particular really adores a beach. It takes years off her!
30th Oct, 2011 12:34 (UTC)
greyhounds cannot run on water... I know I shouldn't laugh... *falls off chair laughing*

Beautiful shots. Dogs running in mad circles - that's what beaches are for, really.
30th Oct, 2011 18:30 (UTC)
Actually, I suppose that was another thing we all learned - that Mollydog can, if she needs to, swim. I don't think she has *ever* swum again since, but she hit the sea at such velocity that she went out quite a long way that first time and had to swim herself back. Greyhounds look quite alarming swimming, they float really low with just their eyes and nose poking out!

In a long history of doing comical things, that time was probably her personal best. :-D
8th Nov, 2011 19:47 (UTC)
Pillbox!! Woo hooo!!!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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