My husband is staring into the waves and drawing on my student days as an astronomer. “Is it really the moon that controls the tides? How does it do that then? Where did the moon come from?” I answer him whilst trying to keep my tripod still in gusts of fresh air and make out what I’m seeing through the lens of my camera in the bright afternoon sun. My feet feel newly liberated on the warm sand and the sea is roaring in surround sound. Beaches are magical places. The unspoiled beaches of Cornwall’s South West are particularly magical and I can’t think of a better place to start this blog.
All that water and sand make beaches safe for candles and taking some with you prevents the dusk hauling you away from the shoreline. You do need to protect them from sea breezes though, and we used these long-stemmed tealight holders to linger a while by the cliffs as the sun went down.
Yes, it is mainly the moon that controls the tides; the oceans respond to the pull of its gravity and the push of a centrifugal force caused by its rotation. I love that- twice a day, we’re left with a clean slate, a fresh page of smooth, flat sand.
The following day, a coastal walk took us to Porth Chapel then on to Porthgwarra, both of which featured in the BBC’s Poldark. On the cliff at Porthgwarra, I set up camp, positioning our polished steel lanterns on the edge of a cliff while a seal bobbled about in the waves below.
The tide came in, the sun went down and the winds were high but the lanterns did their work keeping the candles lit. We looked down on the little cove where the fishermen landed pilchards in Poldark. Almost beneath us was the tunnel where Ross Poldark was filmed hiding after helping a fugitive escape to sea. We imagined the tales this place could tell of shipwrecking, smuggling and… well, seaweed harvesting.
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