Sunday, October 19, 2008
There was a definite autumn chill in the air on the Solway Firth. I set off from Fleet Bay through which the peaty waters of the River Fleet make their way to the Irish Sea.
About half of my paddling is done here but I tend not to post about it much. I enjoy the familiarity of the location but the conditions are always different. 9 meter tides and winds that whistle down from the mountains see to that! I usually paddle on my own here and that does tend to sharpen the senses with respect to changing conditions. On this day I thought I would try something different. The rivers were full with recent rain and a big spring tide gave the opportunity for some river exploration. I decided to paddle up the River Fleet.
On the way up Fleet Bay, I passed the last of the salmon stake nets that are characteristic of this part of the Solway. At one time there were six nets on this side of the estuary.
A little further on little Cardoness chapel is tucked away in a little sheltered bay behind a wooded headland.
A low autumn sun, with dark clouds inland, gave a wonderful rich light to show off the autumn colours. The SW wind picked up and was fair pushing me on up the firth.
Two swans made their way inland up the narrowing firth. On the salt marshes below, curlews, oyster catchers gulls and herons were waiting for the tide to turn and reveal their feeding grounds on the Solway mud and sand flats.