Summer is Coming:
The very long summer nights when the sun finally sets here at 11 o’clock, the early sunrise at 4 o’clock, crab fishing and swimming. The ever hopeful weather forecast of “Some sunny spells with scattered outbreaks of rain”. Okay, so that last part not as much, but that’s fairly typical for summer in the UK.
When we lived in Wales we were very fortunate to live in a little fishing village with a beautiful harbour, near to a stunning white sand beach. Our first summer we were at the beach virtually every chance we had. Any day off from work I had, even sometimes in the evening after work. We studied the tide times to make the most of having more to explore. Rockpools became exposed at low tide, deep pools to swim in and new and interesting creatures to find.
We took a metal detector down to the beach one day and got absolutely zero hits. Nothing, not one beep to say there was something metallic below the sand. There was virtually no rubbish or litter on the beach which was wonderful to see. 20 years previously there was a major oil spill from a tanker off the coast that caused havoc on the local wildlife.
The Crab That Tried to Mug Us::
Did you know that crabs love bacon? We found out this secret and had a lot of success with it. We took crab fishing lines with us, baited with raw, unsmoked bacon. A crab fishing line is very basic, a weight on the end of a line with a small net bag. Crabs grab the bait and catch their claws on the net, you then pull them up out of the water and quickly into a bucket to avoid being nipped. The next part is vital. You brag to your spouse that you have caught yet another one and then an hour or so later admit defeat when they pull their 10th one out of the water. We put them back after a short while, they were only small but still capable of giving you a nasty nip or, as we found out, able to pick up weapons.
We had a knife with us to cut the bacon, it fell into the bucket and was immediately snatched up by the largest crab. He held on for dear life, waving it menacingly at us. His beady eyes glaring, daring one of us to just try to take it from his claws, his little legs scrabbling around in the echoing plastic prison. He was a crab with a mission, to liberate us of our wallets and keys and make off like a bandit into the sunset! We laughed, a lot. His scowling little face finally looked away as he dropped the knife, knowing his resistance was over. To honour his bravery, we gently tipped him back into the largest rockpool where he could reign over his fellow crab brethren with his new found street cred.
Our New Spot:
Last summer we moved to Devon, England, for my new job. I know the area well having spent most of my teenage years living here. We now live only 20-30 minutes from the coast with several beautiful towns and beaches to choose from.
The downside is that so few of the beaches down here are sand. Most are covered in pebbles that constantly shift underfoot and give the impression to anyone observing from a distance that you’ve had one too many to drink.
After a bit of trial and error, we finally found our new “spot”. The beach is mostly pebbles but when the tide goes out a new area becomes accessible that has patches of sand and rock pools to explore.
To reach our spot we have to cross a small river on foot. However, when the tide is turning and starting to come back in the water level rises and the current is very strong. It knocked both of us off of our feet while trying to cross it and by the time we reached the other side we were drenched and laughing so hard we could barely talk let alone breathe.
Our plan for this summer is to spend as much time as humanly possible on the beach. Fishing and trying not to get mugged by crabs or too sunburnt. We are proud of our lily white glow that comes from sitting in front of a computer for the winter. We will report back with silly stories and photos as and when they happen!
What are your summer plans? Are you itching to explore somewhere local and new to you? Will you be travelling to some far off distant land? Get in touch in the comments below and tell us!