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Marsh Tide

I had a wonderful morning on the water the other day enjoying my new kayak, which is really small and only needs a few inches of water to float. I arrived very early with a couple of hours to go before high water, but already the level was very high and starting to flood into gullies on the marsh. These extreme high spring tides are known as 'marsh tides' as they completely cover huge areas of saltmarsh.

Setting off through familiar creeks with the tide carrying me along was exhilarating, but also very peaceful. It's so quiet out there on the water, however busy the town is. The landscape changed so quickly as the water level rose and I soon got hopelessly lost as creek edges disappeared and new channels appeared, although the water was so high that I could see over the muddy banks and all the way back to the harbour.

After exploring several dead ends I paddled back against the the tide, which was now quite easy as it slowed down. I wedged the kayak and stopped for a coffee break and to admire the peaceful view.

By the time I had done a quick sketch and was ready to move on there was water as far as I could see and no trace of the landscape I'd paddled through. I was able to head straight back to the harbour, about a mile away, across what is normally dry land intersected with meandering channels of water. Where it was still quite shallow I could see the vegetation beneath the surface, like an underwater garden. It was quite magical.

Back in the harbour I was ready for my picnic and spent a couple of peaceful hours reading, sketching and watching the landscape emerge again as the tide went out. What a glorious day!


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