It’s been a while

I have been a bit quiet, but have still been getting out to piers.

19 piers have been visited, completed 15 plates and printed 13.

The end of August I took photos of Saltburn and Cleethorpes, a bit of a journey up the East Coast.

Then further ventures working my way around the South East, with a small diversion to try and get a decent photo of Walton on the Naze pier, not sure if I have succeeded in that.

It was nice to get Gravesend and Herne Bay in one day.

Carrying on around the coast, via Deal, Folkestone Harbour Arm, Hastings, Brighton and Eastbourne.

It was a glorious couple of days in February, catching up with friends in Brighton on Saturday after getting some nice shots of the pier and remains of a pier.

Then on Sunday made good use of the tide and weather to get a sneaky trip to Beachy Head from Eastbourne.

Which brings me up to date, with my Worthing problem. I have visited Worthing twice, driving down in beautiful sunshine to find Worthing covered in a sea mist on both occasions. 

Not completely wasted journeys, it not that often that I am the youngest person in a cafe.

So, still a couple to capture on the East Coast, Harwich Halfpenny and Skegness, carry on around the South Coast, only 40 to go.

Hopefully get a couple of days paddling next week.


Print Run

I had a weekend free, so decided to have a print run.

The day’s seemed to be spent inking and wiping, but managed to produce at least one of each pier etched so far.


Great Yarmouth Britannia

Great Yarmouth Wellington

Lowestoft South

Lowestoft Claremont





So that’s nine down, when I  started this the National  Piers Society had 56 on their list, it has gone up to 59, so this is either a race to finish, or a longer project than anticipated.

EC3 4 Piers 2 seals

Back to Great Yarmouth, a day planned around bagging the last four piers for this week. The local weather was a bit shabby, rain with a touch of thunder. But a quick check on the internet showed the thunder was moving offshore, so it was a skin on frame boat day, back to the Beach Hut for a pre paddle coffee and cake.

Setting off in bright sunshine, paddling south to Britannia, then on to Wellington. Not a lot of water round these piers.

But paddling back from Wellington pier, I was startled by a snorting noise behind me, as this curious seal joined me all the way back to the get out.

So making my way back up the beach, watched by the seal, that at one point I thought was going to get out with me, I loaded the kayak up and headed to Lowestoft, for Claremont and South Piers.

With a quick nod to the lifeguards, I set off on what looked like a simple paddle. A few shots of Claremont.

It was a short paddle across to South Pier. A little info sometimes helps, I wished I had read the pilot notes, the choppy waters around the harbour mouth wouldn’t have been a surprise. I could see the chop and mild chaos, which was ok when paddling, but stopping and taking pictures proved interesting, and a bit of company would have been appreciated, to lean on while clicking away.

It was a bit of a relief to get into calmer water, where the second seal of the day followed me, no pictures this time, but piers and seals, a good day.

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.

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.