With the early morning weather promising to be grand, I thought it would be fun to have a 4am start to allow me time to catch the sunrise over the sea at Walberswick…
With empty roads, it took no time to get there. The sky was crystal clear with countless stars and even though it was dark, there was that beautiful shade of deep, deep blue all around. With 10 miles to go however, my spirits sank a little as big heavy clouds started to show up on the eastern horizon. Memories of a similar venture some while back popped up.. clear skies at home only to disappear behind cloud as I approached the coast. Well, I was almost there so it would be crazy not to say hello to the sea..
I parked up and heaved on the backpack – along with the 40+ kilos of stuff it contained and trudged my way to the spot where I wanted to set up. Choosing the spot was not a random thing.. A good pal recommended an excellent ‘app’ called “Mr Sun” – it predicts where the sun will be at any time of the day and any day of the year.. So using this and then Google Earth, it was relatively easy to pick a spot where I could have the outlook I wanted…
I had time to look about me before setting up.. the constant sound of the sea was the first thing that all but filled the senses – so much so that my earlier chagrin at the heavy cloud on the horizon began to lift. Looking along the shoreline to the north, the channel that guides the river Blythe to the sea and to the south, Sizewell – in the predawn light, it’s white dome clearly visible. All was enveloped in a deep blue light that had an all but liquid feel to it. Considering the hour, I was not surprised to see I was only soul on the shore. All this wonder and only me to witness it.
I may have been the only one on dry land but it was a different story out at sea. There were trawlers, one only recently leaving the safety of the Blythe and in the distance, a couple of very curious vessels.. Support vessels for the off shore wind farms maybe?
Right. Enough looking about.. I had to get set up – a process that takes about 20 minutes. The first challenge was the footing for the tripod.. The shoreline was gravel so not the best surface for a stable platform. There was sand a little higher up the shore but this had been fenced off. A few handfuls of the sand under each leg solved that problem and then a quick dash to sea to rinse off my hands. Soon after, both stills and video camera ready to do their thing.
All that charging about had warmed me up but I knew it was cool enough for the early morning chill to work its way past the fleece and windproof coat I was wearing.
After about 10 more minutes, the sun had just started to appear above the horizon. I could not see it but what I could see were big gaps appearing in the cloud. In a matter of a few moments, the sun found a path to light up the sea – and then another with strong rays of light bursting through. At the same time, lines of geese passed right over head so in moments I had so much to do. It was a bit like a chaotic dance.. hopping about between stills and video cameras and trying not to trip over either 🙂
Oh, how glad I was to be there. Seeing and hearing so much.. the geese overhead, small ships out at sea and to cap it all, the sun. Cold as it was, rarely have I felt so ‘warm’.
I love my new job..
If you care to see a short video that includes some stills, click here…