A love affair

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.

~Isak Dinesen

I lick my lips and taste salt. The water rushes towards me and I dance away - acutely aware of my clumsiness because how can any human have grace when compared to the sea? The waves crash angrily against the pier. The wind sweeps by, carrying with it the smell of the ocean. I close my eyes and breath in deeply.

I am having a love affair with the ocean. It has been going on for years. It started long ago with waves and fresh water, the beautiful crisp smell of a lake on the breeze. It’s culminated in this - I feel better when I’m around water. In Galway, I lived minutes away from the ocean and beside the river. And when I got lonely or sad or a little too drunk, I would walk down to the infamous Galway Bay and listen to the swans fight, watch the waves crash into the rocks. Suddenly, you feel small and your problems unimportant. You feel freer, imagining that you can hitch a ride on the wind and explore the seemingly infinite ocean.


Last weekend, I had my first encounter with the North Sea. It was beautiful. The waves were so strong that they crashed into the Pier and sometimes splashed over. It was cold and windy, but it was awesome, in the truest sense of the word.


I spent longer in Tynemouth, on the coast, than I had planned. After exploring the Priory for a couple of hours, I decided I need to explore the coast. So I climb down this small staircase from the Pier and picked my way through seaweed and stones to watch the waves crash against the rocks.

I started picking up rocks to keep as a reminder of my trip - the beach was full of round pebbles, smoothed by the restless sea.


On the other side of the Pier was a small bay where people more adventurous than I were sailing, and a small boat rental place to serve them. But there was also a mass of rocks, covered in seaweed, and the ruins of something at the bottom of the cliff. I decided I wanted to walk over. It was treacherous.


I slipped and tripped and had to be very careful. The worst rocks were the ones covered with the slimy green seaweed, because if you stepped on it wrong you slipped and lost your balance. I only had one slightly scary experience, though, when my foot slipped and ended up wedged between two rocks. But I caught myself, and remained largely uninjured. Thankfully.

By the end of the day I was windswept, cold and hungry. And far too late to go explore St Mary’s Lighthouse like I had planned. But it was worth it. The North Sea made me feel better, the trip reminded me why I was here - to explore.


For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.

~e.e. cummings


  • By Sebastian, September 26, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen the North Sea, at least not from up _there_. From Essex, sure… but it’s not so brutal down here, I think :)

    Lovely photos — give us larger versions when we click…!

  • By Hezabelle, September 26, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

    I’m not sure I know how to do that… But I can see if I can figure it out! I’m glad you like them. :)

  • By Sebastian, September 26, 2009 @ 9:56 pm

    I love all 200 pixels of them!

  • By Eleni, October 2, 2009 @ 12:21 am

    I know what you mean about the awesomeness of the sea, and that feeling when you’re just standing there as the waves crash on the shore… I love the ocean, of course–that’s why I’m devoting my life to the study of it!

    Love the photos. The rocks with the algae are so interesting.

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