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Friday, 28 July 2017

Swimmin Off Northumberland–Don’t Get Carried Away


We did it yet again – a brief Cheviot baggathon followed by a night on a Northumbrian beach.

The baggathon was a six-ish mile ramble near Wooller Common involving three Tumps – Fredden Hill, oddly not included in the local access land, according to my map, and covered in forestry according to Dawn’s (although there were no trees at all) – followed by Hart Heugh – another fine Tump and then Earle Whin, another Tump with cows and pheasantry. Dawn didn’t bother with the last one.


And then, as per routine, we hurtled over to Ross Farm and headed onto the beach where the sky was grey and cold and the sea was in a specially lively mood. And we  put up a bivi. Actaully, Dawn put up the bivi cos she’s a bivi-putter-upper expert. I just stand about holding bits of paracord or lumps of wood. LTD usually uses the time to dig a nest nearby.

So, we brewed, I walked the dog, had a brief but exciting plodge and we had minced beef with veggies and noodles for tea (cooked the night before and gently frozen in the knipetowers chest freezer (although why anybody should want a frozen chest is obscure)

In the morning we had bacon paninis. Yes, folks, we really know about camp cooking. None of this dehydrated muck for us, oh no…


At some point, Dawn went for a swim and was briefly carried off in the approximate direction of Dogger Bank, but managed to make a withdrawal before being welcomed into Davy Jones’s locker. I also had a dip, but although this didn’t involve any actual swimming, some waves lifted me up somewhat. Dawn’s second swim was apparently less exciting. Still, close to the shore and in an odd little bay that appears at low tide, the sea was strangely difficult to wade through, pulling in all kinds of directios at once. I’m not sure if this was a one-off or a regular thing. Sea dipping is bound to be a bit risky anyway, I suppose but worraway to go, eh, almost as good as being on the wrong side of a speeding fish-wagon or being shot by a jealous husband – much better than the nursing home thing anyway.. The North Sea isn’t specially cold at the moment. Either that, or I’m getting acclimatised. It still left me with the usual euphoria.


Note in the pictures that the bivi was specially well hidden on this occasion. This was probably a happy accident. Several people passed by wihtout, apparently noticing the camp and finding it at night after a little wee or a short pre-bed-time doggy walk was a bit of a challenge. Following the footprints in the sand was a good strategy at first, till there got to be too many lines of prints going in all directions.


And, for good karma, we found a camera on the way back to Ross Farm and, at the last minute, following  a return visit to the beach by Dawn and a phone call to Northumbria cops, the owners turned up and were re-united with it.

This is probably not the last time we’ll do this kind of thing.


Thanks to everypeeps for the good wishes by the way. Just to be clear, I’m not on my way to meet my maker, at least, not in the short-term, unless I make a serious error of judgement up the A1 Morpeth by-pass. There’s no need to fret or get terribly supportive. Just sayin’. The cryptic comment about positive and negative wishes will be better understood by one “special” reader who thinks I’m an utter utter @$£1!F+*** but who nevertheless likes to read the pieblog, presiumably to see what I’m up to.


Dawn Linney said...

It was a good wee trip Mike. Indeed, yes, there was some confusing waves and currants pulling in several directions. You did good though, staying safe in the shallows and staying in much longer than me.

Quinn said...

Reuniting a camera with owner sounds like a way to rack up some good karma! Nice going :)