Having visited various Northumbrian sandy beaches last year, it became seriously apparent that the erection of a tarp or tent would be compromised by the stupidly soft sand that they have around here. Dawn had put her not incosiderable skills and experience into solving this problem and had come up with a collection of huge wooden stakes and a huge wooden lump with which to bash them into the sand. The only issue remaining was a location to test out this system. We would have liked to visit Ross Back Sands, but due to the prescence of some rare and guarded terns nesting there, we terned (sic) our attention to Druridge Bay.
Eventually, after driving about a lot and seeking water supplies, we terned up at Druridge Bay, plodded Northwards for a while and then erected Dawn’s stake-based tabernacle in a sheltered corrie in the dunes, on the edge of the main beach.
I should add here (look away those of a delicate disposition) that both me and Dawn are booked in to the North-East skinny-dip in September and, in order to do do justice to the ten quid layout, it’s essential to acclimatise one’s body to cold water, so some dips into the North Sea (currently around 11C) are essential. Dipping into cold water does work as an acclimatisaion strategy and ensures that a longer dip later on, in marginally warmer water might actually be enjoyable. So, we dipped, although, not necessarily in a skinny-fashion. It was OK, actually.
This provided a fabby-whiz camping spot and we mooched around for the evening, collecting wood, seeing off a local prevert and, in the case of ltd, doing poos for collection in the poo bags wot I’d bought that very morning in Tow Law. We drank tea and scoffed some Peggoties Pasties ( from Peggoties bakery in Wolsingham) and I had a tin of IPA.
We lit a small fire. Then it went dark(ish), somewhat mitigated by a full moon rising over the sea and we drifted off into sleepy snoozy snory dreamy land. LTD cuddled on a blanket and deep underneath a down jacket snuggled up close to my bivi bag. I stroked his tummy under the warmth and we floated peacefully away far upstream, dog and prat in sleepy harmony. Neither moved for hours and hours.
Then, maybe five hours later, the sky lightened and turned a bit orange and, slowly, the sun appeared over the sea. We brewed, marvelled at the scene and had photo-calls for a bit and then returned to cosy sleeping bags for another four hours.
In the day, we dipped and snoozed and lazed about and scoffed the deli meats and cheeses Dawn had brought. The sea was cold and mischevious but friendly and the sun was hot and skin-drying.
We should do this more often.