Sky, sea, sand

The schools went back and we took advantage of the beautiful summer weather to make our annual late summer pilgrimage to the North Norfolk coast. Last year we were hampered by Chris's broken foot, but this year everybody was functional so we headed to Brancaster beach. I always forget how much I love the extraordinary feeling of space and light that the Norfolk coast can provide, and today this was heightened by the glorious blue sky.

This was the first photograph of the day, taken just as we arrived at our picnic spot, a good kilometre away from the access point,which was still very busy with young families and retired couples making the most of the summer warmth. All looks peacefiul, but this stretch of coast can be very treacherous to the unwary. Later in the day we witnessed a dramatic beach rescue, involving the RNLI lifeboat and hovercraft, the Air Ambulance, the Coastguard and a four-wheel drive ambulance.

A group of holiday makers had walked out onto the sands, but had then been cut off by the tide, which comes in at a truly alarming pace. The man swam to shore, but a woman and two girls were left clinging to a buoy. Just as the lifeboat and hovercraft arrived, the woman fell off and was dragged away by the current. A lifeboatman dived in and managed to grab her before the current sucked her under, and the two girls were rescued by the hovercraft crew. Thank goodness they were all safe, but it could so easily have been a tragedy.

We spent most of our time relaxing and pottering around the saltmarsh behind the dunes, which has a numberof very rare plants. We spotted a group of feeding sandwich terns which was quite exciting, and both Chris and I went for a paddle. I had a hard time choosing my image for the day - my other favourite candidtae was a monochrome of the incoming tide taken while I was standing in the sea, which I've added to my Blipfolio.

We repaired to the Jolly Sailors for our evening meal. I treated myself to a wood-fired goats cheese and vegetable pizza and I have to say it was quite delicious. I was keeping my eye on the sky as the cloud patterns suggested there might be a good sunset. I was ready to dash over the road to the saltings of Brancaster Staithe if that happened. Unfortunately, after a hint of colour everything fizzled out to a dull grey - but at least I was able to have my meal in peace!

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