Monday, August 18, 2008

More Spurn Pointers

Ok now where were we......oh yeah. I'd just burst through the vegetation at the very end of Spurn Point and was finally on the beach.

Oh in case you need to catch up, go to my blog post from Saturday and have a read.

But if not, here is a brief synopsis : sunny day, drove to Spurn Point, saw a lighthouse, walked through a maze and got to the beach.

Right, off we go again.

This is that beach.

No, I'd not gone to Normandy or travelled back in time to 1944 either but I could understand it if you thought both.

It wasn't much of a beach but then it wasn't really supposed to be. It was just the end of the land and as such, there was sand.


You see Spurn Point is a constantly moving peninsula. The waters on the North Sea side wear away the land and deposits on the Humber Estuary build it up again and this effectively 'moves' everything, slowly, over the decades. Actually the waters can wash completely over the land in places and a 'new' point is created and then built up again but this is done over a period of centuries.

"Ok enough of the serious geography stuff already." Righty o.

There is also a lifeboat station at the Point. Built in 1810.

And here is the lifeboat. All ready for action. Isn't it nice ? Isn't it very orange ? Yes it is.

Not sure how they get out to it when it's needed for that action but I'm sure they can.

Interesting fact ("about bloody time too") - this is the only lifeboat station in the UK with full time paid staff.

Not a lot of people know that.

So Spurn Point has a lifeboat, a lighthouse, a beach of sorts and lots of birds.

It's famous for it's birds. Bit of a bird sanctuary actually.
Twitchers, sorry bird watchers, flock there (sorry again) to look for rare species that sometimes rest there on their way to nicer places. South of France maybe. North Africa. Places with decent weather anyway.

But I hardly saw a single bird. Oh I saw birds, yes, but no more than I'd see at home or at the seaside anywhere. Didn't see any twitchers either so maybe it was off season. Maybe the credit crunch was hitting bird vacations too and they were staying home and improving their nests.

There were quite a few people fishing and with expensive setups too. I didn't see any of them catching anything fishy but one had his line caught up in a ship propeller and he was last seen on his way to Amsterdam. Har har.

It was quite a busy channel and large tankers and ore carriers were passing by every few minutes.

Nobody was IN the water as, although it was a suuny day, it wasn't all that warm and the water temperature certainly wasn't conducive to swimming.

Not sure I'd want to ever swim in North Sea waters but that's another story.

I was walking back along the beach to the car park area and came upon this odd looking tower.

It used to be a munitions store during the war as Spurn Point was a key fortified outpost back then.

There was a military railway line that ran the length of the peninsula and due to the constant shifting that I mentioned earlier, the tracks criss cross the road and go off into the vegetation in places as it has stayed static while the land it was built on has moved. Bizarre.

There were also several wartime bunkers and concrete fortifications at the end of the Point and they still remain in some form or other. Most are crumbling away but enough of the structures remain to give an idea of what things were like back in the early 1940's when invasion was always a threat. Now we let anyone in !

3 young kids had used a surf board to paddle out to the tower and were enjoying themselves climbing up the lower part of its base and going all the way around.

At times the tower is on the beach but when I was there, the tide had come in and it was well out into the channel.

Before leaving Spurn Point, I went back to the vegetation for a last walk through part of it as I'd found it to be more interesting than the beach.

There were loads of butterflies and bees and I took photos of several of them and here is one of a cute little fluffy bee.

I know cute and fluffy aren't words that spring to mind when you talk about bees but enlarge this one and it's certainly fluffy. Maybe not cute.

I need a macro lens though.

And so it was back to the car and off back home.

On the way through the flat farmland East of Hull, I came upon a farmer on his combine harvester.

He stopped to do some maintenance and we had a chat before he set off again.

The weather has been so bad these last few weeks that he was taking this chance to get on with the harvesting and he said he'd be working all through the night to make the most of this dry spell.

I sped on as I wanted to get to the Humber Bridge for sunset to try and get some photos of it.

That meant going through Hull and I stopped briefly as the harbour also looked like a good location for some pics. It wasn't easy to find a parking place near the harbour but I could tell the evening light would be so good with the boats and water.

But there were really too many boats and they were tightly docked next to one another.

This made it a bit tricky and I almost left without getting anything worth saving.

Then I noticed a boat coming in from the sea and I positioned myself at the widest part of the harbour with a photogenic church tower in the background - and waited.

Thankfuly the boat came all the way across the harbour and I got this photo just before it disappeared to the left to dock. Nothing special but I liked the reflections and the light and if nothing else, it was a snap shot memory for me to enjoy later.

And then it was on to the bridge.

The 27 year old Humber Bridge held the record for the longest single span suspension bridge in the world for 16 years and it is currently the 5th longest. However it does still hold one world record. It is the longest bridge you can walk over. Good luck doing that. At 1.3 miles long, I decided to give it a miss.

Anyway, I got there at 8pm, just minutes before sunset. I drove down to its base where there is a swanky restaurant, parked up and got ready.

I'm not sure what happened but there was no sunset. Well not in a classic red sky way. It just went dark. And then, as is the way, it got bright for a while. I was bummed.

So as not to have totally wasted my time with this slight detour to the bridge, I decided to do something I do very rarely. I took a photo of myself.

It had been a lovely day out. The sun shone, I'd got lots of exercise and to end it all, here is that photo of me with the Humber Bridge behind me. Be nice now.


Kate said...

Great photos, Gosh the last one makes you look like that round the world yachtsman ... Especially love the dusted edge effect, it's quite artistic and effective! I really should get some advice about how to use my computer more imaginatively... Cheers Kate -
P.S. What d'you think of Chris Hoy and his 3 golds, not bad eh?

Kate said...

Well - was that nice enough ?

Katherine said...

Enjoyed your two-part story very much. Read them cover to cover. I even noticed your freudian slip. :-)

Daphne said...

AND it was overcast in Leeds that day! Great photos, and I'm glad you took one of yourself too.

Silverback said...

I think you've created your own freudian slip Katherine as I did have a typo but it was 'only' Spern.
Naughty girl !!

And yes, Kate, you were nice ! Bless. But I couldn't go round a swimming pool in a yacht never mind the world.

Overcast in Leeds, Daphne ? That has the ring of a movie title to me.

Debby said...

I'm saving the reading for later. I just looked at the pictures. I saw beeeeessss!

I also liked that last picture. I wonder who took that?

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