Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Devil's Thrashing Floor, the White Steeds of the Solway and the wrecks and carlins of Senwick Bay.

As Tony and I paddled down the wooded shores of Kirkcudbright Bay, we were sheltered from a brisk SW wind which was blowing offshore. The wind combined with the flood spring tide made for hungry work and it was time for first luncheon.  The tidal shallows here are called "The Devil's Thrashing Floor" and...

...they were the cause of many ship wrecks, such as that of the two masted sailing schooner Monrieth in 1900. Her wooden ribs can still be seen at low tide. When the wind bows against the tide in these waters conditions are right for the wonderfully named "White Steeds of the Solway" to make their appearance. These may be the Devil's steeds...

...but they can be fun!

However, all was calm this day and we soon came to the delightful sheltered  cove at Senwick Bay. It is not always thus, in 1887 the Preston brig "Just" was lost here as were the Whitehaven brig "Mary Isabella", the Harrington brig "Dido" and the Workington brig "Joshua" all in the same storm in 1822. The other name for Senwick Bay is Carlin's Cove. Carlin is the Old Scots word for a witch. You can just imagine the Thrashing Floor and Senwick Bay on that stormy night. The wind was shrieking through the doomed ships' rigging and the trees on the shore like a wailing banshee...

On this July day the cove was a real sun trap and we enjoyed a long break  as a succession of motor and sailing boats from Kirkcudbright made their way past us on their way out to sea.

All too soon it was time to take to the water again and Little Ross island slowly got nearer. Its lighthouse had been constructed in 1843 in an attempt to reduce the appalling loss of ships on the Devil's Thrashing Floor.

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