Thursday, 17 May 2007

Essex Marshes (Part 1)

Day 10
Sun 13 May

Distance covered: 18km
Weather: SW 4 building to 8

Wake at 05:30 feeling a litle tipsy. Water is flat calm, with no tent to pack I'm up and away fast!

Cross the Blackwater Estuary to St Peters flats. As it's only two hours off high tide I can cross right over the mudflats that go up to 3km offshore.

Wind and seas build as I travel south and by 08:30 its a good chop (as it's so shallow). Lots of confused water as I pass a line of eight barges that have been sunk about 500m offshore to form a barrage.

Bit later on and I'm getting lots of white horses. Morning is made by seeing two seal pups on the bank, I sit 300m away to watch for a while as three adults make sure I don't come closer.

Reach the mouth of the Crouch Estuary. Big chop here. I've lost the tide and can't fight both a head wind and the tide so put in here to wait out the tide.

Weather gets worse and I decide to stay the night where I am next to an old WW2 bunker on a ledge 2m above the sea. Oddly there's a seaweed covered Rover Metro in the water next to me.

The Marshes are an odd place: flat as a pancake and very bleak in the rain but lovely in the sun with swallows flying around. I don't hate them though as finally I'm moving!

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