Two Pier Prints

With paddle plans cancelled, printing called.
The first two plates were prepared, starting with Clacton Pier. 

Still playing with colours and plate tone, but the process begins.

Then Southend Pier and Leigh Buoy, my local paddle spot.

Looking forward to the East Coast, and some sneaky trips to the South Coast through June.


Two Tree Island to Southend Pier

A leisurely start to Saturday to meet the planners of this trip, Barbara and Carolyn. Getting to Two Tree Island early enough for a quick cup of tea in the Golf Driving Range, and then onto the car park for 9:30.

The weather was fine, with less wind than forecast, but still carrying the Northerly chill. We were joined by a local paddler, Hariboy, it was good to catch up, as I haven’t paddled with him for a while.

Paddling out with the tide, and the wind turning to assist us, we made good progress down ‘the gut’ passing  familiar boats, Two Brothers, and the visiting Cygnet.

As we approached the pier, some practice on using transits added interest. Looking at the end of the pier, we could see there was something unusual moored up, it was a three masted schooner from the Netherlands, Eendracht.

The sea of the end of the pier was far calmer than expected, and we sped by, getting a few photos. It was an ideal opportunity to duck inside and paddle under Southend Pier,  and back towards Two Tree Island.

Even with the light headwind, and a gentle tide assist, the return journey felt nice and easy. There was only one seal sighted, but a good spot of a Great Crested Grebe and some busy Oystercatchers kept the spirits up.

A grand day out, with good company, finished with tea and lemon drizzle cake.

Thanks for the planning Barbara and Carolyn, a good way to spend a birthday Carolyn, and Hariboy provided interesting conversation, as usual.

One down, 55 to go.

Friday was a glorious day, so a pier visit was planned.

After an early visit to the garage to get my car serviced, I wanted to visit Clacton Pier. 

This was a raid, park up, unload, kit up, paddle out, get the photos, get off and leave. As plans go, this worked out well, except for the pictures. The images of a pier, near the top of a spring tide, were disappointing. There was very little of the pier structure showing.

So after a coffee at Number 1 Kiosk, I decided to return at a lower state of tide, on Monday.

Leaving home earlier than I normally do on a work day, I arrived in sunny Clacton, ready for the rising tide. I am still not up to speed with lifting and carrying, so it means that my light, skin on frame kayak, is the boat of choice. Thanks Kiliii.

Setting out to sea, in a light NWesterly breeze, the boat made slick progress against the tide, it just felt so easy, heading further out to get some photos.

Paddling back in, with a following sea, and the mini surf surges, to an easy beach landing. While putting the kayak up on the promenade, a cheery local asked if I had just arrived from Calais. Setting my kit to dry in the sun, it was back to Number 1 Kiosk, for coffee and a sausage sandwich.

I think that one of the images above, will provide the source for the first print of the series.

If every pier needs more than one visit, this could be really tough, but getting there at the right time was a good lesson to learn.

Saturday looks like a visit to the mighty Southend Pier, with a couple of my ‘long term development’ paddlers, they are trip planning Wednesday evening.

Starting out

I have an aim, not my usual target, but a challenge all the same.

This is the launch of a new project, and a journey to complete an ongoing project.

I want to complete a kayaking challenge, my discipline specific UKCC Level 3 Coach (Sea) assessment. This has proved to be a bigger test than expected, made a little harder by an elbow dislocation in November.

To be frank, I was lucky, nothing broke, and the stuff floating about in the joint hasn’t interrupted the movement of the joint, yet.

But after five months the elbow moves almost normally, but still hurts, a lot, every day. This is a climbing injury, and my bouldering is being limited by my mind, more than the physical problem. The doctors I climb with assure me this has been a quick recovery, and the pain is normal.

So, the injury scuppered the original plan for this year, I will save the sheer physical challenge for another time.

I am trying to complete an artistic goal, with a paddle theme.

Visit all the surviving piers of Britain, 56 as I write. Most pictures you see of piers are from the land, I want to take pictures from at sea, and use these for the production of a fine art print, etching, relief print or collagraph, hell, maybe even a screen print if the image calls for it.

To give you a flavour, here is a collagraph of Southend Pier, and a solar plate etching of Red Sands Fort.

Anyone involved in paddling with me, including the people working on their long term development, we are going to have a mainly pier based year, because this all needs to be completed by April 2017.

Just picked up a printing press from the great and very helpful Intaglio Printmakers, so the journey begins.