Sea change

These waters are never still.  The perpetual motion of the tides carries drowned sailors south from Cape Wrath to rest on the shores of haunted Sandwood Bay.

I think of Lycidas drowned
in Milton’s mind.
How elegantly he died. How langourously
he moved
in those baroque currents. No doubt
sea nymphs wavered round him
in melodious welcome.

And I think of Roddy drowned
Off Cape Wrath, gulping
fistfuls of salt, eyes bursting, limbs thrashing
the ponderous green. – No elegance here,
nor in the silent welcome
of conger and dogfish and crab.

Norman MacCaig – Sea change, January 1978

Sandwood Bay ...
Sandwood Bay ...
Sandwood Bay ...

Sandwood Bay

These images owe much to Photoshop.  On a day when the met office were forecasting everything bar a plague of frogs, we considered ourselves lucky to complete the nine mile walk out and back to Sandwood Bay in the dry.  It is a wonderfully isolated spot but nothing like as isolated as it used to be – there were would-be Bear Grylls types camping in the dunes, hearty family groups kitted out for the Arctic and another couple like ourselves, out for a long morning walk.  In 1973 there was nobody but ourselves and James McRory-Smith (and for that story you will have to read Golf in the Wild – shameful, I know 🙂 ):

On the path ... On the path ... Sandwood Loch ... Sandwood Bay ... Memories ... Sandwood Bay ...

For an in-depth post on Sandwood Bay, see the excellent Mart in the Hills