I woke early and went in search of daybreak. Standing on the deck of the old houseboat at Blakeney Marsh and looking East towards Cley, I could hear the waves rolling on the sea bank and the birds calling to the light. The first glimpse of the Sun’s orange and red disc silhouetted the mechanical arm of a digger, now paused in its work of rebuilding the flood defences.
Two bait diggers were walking back down the harbour channel, just ahead of the incoming tide. I always imagine sunrise to be a quiet time, but instead it is filled with all the excited cries of nature, while most humans remain silently slumbering in bed.
The video was recorded on my phone (a Moto X) and sped up 8x.
I almost didn’t make it. There’s something so tempting about staying under the covers when your alarm goes off at 05:30. However, the red and orange sky glow I could see through the gap in the curtains persuaded me out of bed, down the driveway still covered in frost and onto the quay just in time for high tide.
The great beauty of living so close to the water is being able to seize moments like this: dawn and high tide coinciding on a perfectly still and clear Sunday morning.
There was not a soul around – even the hardy sailors of the Blakeney Sailing Club were not yet abroad – and not a ripple on the water as the kayak glided down the Cut. Only the birds noticed the passing of the boat, calling to the dawn and skimming low over the water.
I paddled out to where the narrow channel meets the wide waters of the harbour and let the boat drift, taking photos, and turning just in time to watch the sun rise with surprising speed over towards Cley.