Monday, 13 September 2010

The Beach


I’m getting worried about Owen, he is starting to show the same signs of obsession as me, this……….could be dangerous.

I got a call from O to see if I was up for a fishing/swimming trip to a secret beach in Pembrokeshire, got the OK from the wife so said I was in. We both knew there was a good chance we would have the place to ourselves. The Old Man decided to come along as well so that made 3 of us.

We stopped to pick up some bait in an Aladdin’s cave of a fishing tackle shop in Clyddach, we were after some peeler crabs to increase our chances of catching a Bass. The owner informed us that he didn’t have any fresh peelers as the weather had been too cold, the crabs hadn’t shed their shells. He said he had some frozen ones and invited us upstairs to the fishing tackle section of his ironmongers. He unlocked a security rope at the bottom of a dark stairway and said “come on up boys”, I have to say that this made me feel a little uneasy. He flicked the light switch which illuminated the most impressively stocked tackle shop I have ever seen, the fishing equivalent of a Tesco Extra. We bought some bate and a few bits and bobs, jumped back in the car and hit the road. A quick stop at Morrisons for some bread, cheese and wine and we soon had all the essential ingredients of a good trip.

We arrived at lay-by at the top of some cliffs, parked up, unloaded the car onto our backs and set of on a 20 minute walk along the top of some seriously high cliffs. We had spotted a path down to the beach on an old OS map. Unfortunately what greeted us was a security fence with a “Danger - Path Closed Sign” so we turned around and went home. Actually, we pushed through the undergrowth and swung around over the edge of the cliff, through some barbed wire and ended up safely on the other side of the fence. The Old Man managed to cut his arm in the process and when we first saw the amount of blood we thought we may be in trouble, when he wiped it away we could see it wasn’t as bad as it looked.

Owen went to scope out the path down, he was gone for a while and when he returned he was out of breath. We asked him what it was like and he said “Its OK, it’s a bit sketchy”. Me and the Old Man turned to look at each other and in unison said “How sketchy?”. He managed to convince us and we pushed on through the vegetation that had grown over the path. The walk down was actually OK if you took your time. We made it to the beach but on his last step, the Old Man fell and rolled his ankle, luckily he didn’t hurt it too bad and could still walk.

We were the only ones there, we had it to ourselves. We dumped our stuff on the sand and set off collecting driftwood for a fire later on. When we were all settled Owen pulled off his t-shirt and ran down the beach and dived into the sea, when he surfaced he came face to face with a grey seal who seemed a little annoyed we had dared to climb down to his beach. We all piled in the sea and had a swim about, the seal seemed curious as to what we were up to and kept checking us out keeping a safe distance of a couple of metres away from us.

We dried off and walked over to the point to do some fishing. We hadn’t seen the seal for half an hour so we thought it was safe to fish. However, as soon as the bait hit the water the seal reappeared so we would reel in, wait for him to disappear and cast back out. At which point the would reappear! This went on for some time before we gave up and left the seal to eat the fish for his tea. During this time I managed to get drenched by a couple of waves, first one over my front, second one over my back. We balanced and hopped across the rocks back to the beach.

It was just getting dark now and I decided to make the most of it and go for a naked swim while Owen and the Old Man got the fire going. I stripped off, ran down the beach and dived into the surf, the water was a nice temperature and the last of the suns rays bounced of the water giving me my own light show. Initially I floated around with a hand over my crotch, just in case that seal was still around, he was still there but I’m glad to say, he kept his distance.

Eventually I got back out of the water and jogged the length of the beach to warm up. When I got back to base, it was dark and the fire was going, fillet steak sizzling away and the wine was flowing. My memory gets foggy at this point but we seemed to have a good night eating food, staring at the stars and talking nonsense.

I thought I dreamt that Owen pulled some king prawns from his bag in the middle of the night and cooked them up on the fire but later realised this actually happened when I saw the pictures the following day.

I opened my eyes and looked at my watch, 07:24. I pulled myself out of my sleeping bag, dropped my cloths on the floor, ran to the sea and dived in just as the morning sun was rising above some low level cloud. I looked at my watch, 07:25. I floated around for a bit just taking in the golden scenery. What a way to wake up.

When I got out and dried off, Owen went down for his swim of solitude. When he got back to base he was greeted with a steaming cup of coffee.

Out came the frying pan and in went the bacon, these bacon sarnies just get better and better.

The weather seemed to be taking a turn for the worse so we decided to pack up. We hauled our kit and ourselves back up the cliff and along the path. Just as we got back to the car the heavens opened up and it rained all the way home.

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