And so to my last hours in East Anglia.
With a meeting in the North East that seemed important I couldn’t spare another full day here, so decided to head for the North Norfolk coast road once again. Disappointingly you don’t see much of the sea; the area being so flat that any obstruction by buildings, bushes or trees is enough to take away the view. Even the natural beauty by the road is a fleeting pleasure as there are few places to stop and explore.
I headed for Morston thinking I might have a stroll around the area before returning to County Durham at which point I realised I should have done more research. The bulk of the Blakeney Point Nature Reserve was away to my right, or rather access was. The reserve is rather like Orfordness in reverse, a long peninsula that divides river from sea. Before me was the river and folk who had come prepared for watersports, which I had not.
I was weighing up the options of driving to a better vantage point or making do with what I had when a man in orange ran past me and asked if I was going on a seal trip. “No.” I replied, “But I’d like to!”.
And so a couple of minutes later I and a couple of dozen others were making our way towards the mouth of the estuary in search of colonies of grey and common seals. I realised immediately that I had just boarded a craft with no shelter, under ominously greying skies and with no waterproof. Was it a good omen that the skylarks were still aloft?
As our journey continued we were joined by terns. Sandwich terns, common terns, arctic terns and little terns are all nesting in the area. Perhaps it was as well that Storm Petrels don’t colonise these parts.
And then we reached the sand banks that were our main objective and all thoughts of the weather were forgotten. Fat and lazy with an odour of fish they nevertheless charmed everyone aboard and we had lots of time to photograph them before our boat returned to shore and beat the rain. I don’t think we would have cared anyway.