When winter alights on calm waters

Winter kayaking in Brancaster Harbour

Cool air, tides neaped and the wind but the gentlest of murmurs. It is then that the harbour may become a pool of liquid cloud. To kayak upon it one might think the white sky had been lowered and rolled flat over the water’s surface.

Winter kayaking on a flat calm blue sea in Brancaster Harbour

It feels in substance and sensation quite different from the sea on any other day. It requires winter light and would not occur if the wind stirred in the slightest. But there it was on that Thursday and it will likely not come again this winter. Perhaps not even for another year or two.

Mooring buoy mirrored in flat calm blue water

I paddled the boat out to the harbour entrance, drinking in the effect of this rare day on familiar landmarks. Old, weed-covered mooring balls were made beautiful by the perfection of their mirrored image. The ugly brick of the distant golf club diffused by shimmering cold.

Sunset and channel buoy in Brancaster Harbour

With the gold of the falling sun the breeze awoke. By the time I was paddling back to the quay, a different evening was emerging. The water rippled again and the world – which had seemed paused for a moment – resumed in flights of geese and the movement of the ebb tide.

Sunset kayaking in Brancaster Harbour