Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Fisherman's Cove

There is a stretch of cliffs known as the North Cliffs which stretch between Portreath and Godrevy. The cliffs are high and although there are a series of beautiful coves, reaching them is not for the faint hearted. Bassett Cove was the favourite bathing place of the Bassett family but how they reached it, i have no idea for any path has long gone. I think there is a path down to Greenbank Cove but I have never found it. But Fisherman's Cove is different, I have made it down many, many times.

I used to explore with Big Dog and one day we were walking on the North Cliffs. There are many little paths that lead to the cliff edge to a viewpoint. This particular day, many years ago, I took a little path that didn't end at the cliff edge. Instead it wound down the cliff face. The path is maintained by locals and they regularly cut new steps and ensure the ropes at difficult spots are maintained. It is a nerve wracking path.

At the bottom is a small sandy cove with beautiful blue waves crashing on the sand. There are a sprinkling of rocks down one side of the cove that nestle in the sand. There are small caves at the back of the cove, that nestle under the cliff. The rocks are contorted with many layers and some of these are of quartz. A rock sits out in the sea from the cove and a series of headlands can be seen stretching North to St Agnes, some way distant.

The cove is, not surprisingly, a favourite of fisherman. Apparently it is particularly good for mackerel. Other fishers dance in the waves and steal the fish from the fishermen's hooks. One day I had an encounter with one that had waddled out of the sea. I stood there and the seal and I looked at each other. Other times I just saw them dance in the waves.

Another time I discovered another use of the cove in another encounter. It seems it is also a favourite haunt of nudists. I encountered a couple who proceeded to have a nice freindly chat with me. It was however very evident that the man had been very happy at the beginning of the chat but was less so by the end...

I used to go there because Big Dog was untrustworthy off the lead. The hunting instinct of the greyhound was alive and well in him. If he saw something to chase, he would fixate on it, and be gone. Fisherman's Cove offered a safe place to let him run as I could see if anyone was coming down the path. When I would let him off he would do crazy figure of eights around me, revelling in the feel of the sand between his toes.

The need for Big Dog to run lessened as he got older until he would no longer do more than saunter around and slowly I stopped going there.

For some reason I decided to go there with F and Little Dog tonight. For some strange reason I decided that it was a good idea for a unfit and overweight me to go down that tortuous path where one false move would send you tumbling. Not only did I think I could get down but I thought I could get back up to.

It was of course glorious. There was a seal playing in the coves waters that kept watching us as we came down the path. Little Dog loved the feel of a sand and unsurpringly found a stick. Not being a full greyhound she understands sticks and doesn't have the full chasing instinct. Her tongue was covered in sand and when we climbed back up she cleaned it by licking wet grasses.

My legs were like jelly climbing back up and I shall surely hurt tomorrow. I have no idea what possessed me and I shall definitely suffer for it. It was worth it, I think, but I shan't be doing it again to soon...

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