Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Stroll from Padstow to Porthcothan

Easy day today.  Not as flat as a billiard table, but close to it by Coast Path standards.  The weather was great, too.  Sunny, warm enough to bring English families to the beach (that is, almost 60 degrees, and winds a little less than 20 knots). 
Unfortunately, because of the relatively tranquil weather, I didn't get to see the Spirit of Padstow launched down the rails from its Batcave.  Here's what the RNLI (ne Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboat station looked like today. Beneath that is what it would look like with the 52-foot, 30-ton Spirit of Padstow being launched from the Batcave to rescue a yacht, or even a lowly fishing boat in distress.

I was, needless to say, bitterly disappointed.  But I consoled myself by taking pictures of the meager waves on offer today roiling against the rocks that sit out in the water along this section of the coast.  Although it's just about impossible to produce a decent black-and-white picture on a laptop screen (no color control, appearance changes radically with a small shift in up-and-down viewing angle), I tried my hand with one after I reached Porthcothan.

Finally, I went back to look at the pictures I took several days ago of the dwarf sessile oaks that uniquely grow in small forest preserve near Dizzard, north of Crackington Haven. 
Compared with the standard sessile oak, Quercus petraea, which grows from 60 to over 140 feet in height, these twisted, stunted salt-tolerant oaks which survive on the wind-driven coastal slope rising from the ocean at Dizzard are 30 feet high at most, and often smaller.  It looks like a forest for witches and goblins.