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

Sunset sooner, softer

The clocks went back at the weekend and suddenly the evening walk with the dog has become the afternoon walk again. The light was golden and soft today, diffused through the soft whisps of the marsh plants. Winter often provides the best sunsets. 

From our Instagram, @North.Sea.Living.

Uncharted creeks with The Coastal Exploration Company

As October cools into November, there are fewer days when time, tide and weather favour adventuring on the marsh. When they arrive, you have to seize them – and this morning we did, voyaging through the uncharted creeks around Wells with The Coastal Exploration Company until the channels became too narrow to navigate, even for the traditional Norfolk crab boat My Girls. 

From our Instagram, @North.Sea.Living.

Sunrise time-lapse over Blakeney and Cley marshes

Sunrise timelapse over Blakeney and Cley marsh

The sun rises about a quarter past seven at this time of year, emerging from the low hills behind Cley as you look back across the fresh water marsh from Blakeney. If you’re lucky, you see the silhouette of Cley windmill emerging and the swaying reeds bathed in the glowing light.

This was shot as a video over about twenty minutes on a morning dog walk, then edited afterwards to speed it up.