The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Tidal Causeway

Maggie and I managed a couple of nights away on our own this weekend past.

So good.

So needed.

One of our favourite escapes is the East Coast border between England and Scotland, around Berwick on Tweed. It's about 3 hours' drive (plus however many stops for coffee, tea and/or lunch) each way and you have to travel mostly on fairly slow, windy roads through beautiful countryside. Far enough away to feel we're not too near home, but not so far as to be exhausted by the journey.

This time we stayed in a lovely B&B in Eyemouth, but on the Saturday afternoon took a drive about 20 miles down the coast to Holy Island.

The road from the mainland to the island is tidal, which means for about 4 hours or so, twice a day, the sea sweeps across the road and is impassible in an ordinary family car.

Because the sands and mudflats are so level, the sea can appear a long way off and then be right up next to you a lot sooner than you'd expect. Needless to say, a few time every year it catches out the unwary traveller, despite all the warning signs and tidal timetables posted at either end of the causeway.

We happened to be there as the tide was coming in and, along with several other tourists, I decided to pull out the camera.

There was only 5 minutes between the first and the final image in this sequence.


A few tourists milling around wondering when the water is going to reach the road


2 minutes later I notice the first splash







Suddenly I hear Maggie shouting the water was reaching the car.

Time for us to leave and find a café...

4 comments

allencapoferri said...

That's wild. Time lapse photography.
The structure on stilts in the background is there in case of high tide moving in? A "life guard" stand.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Oh, shiver. The sea is a beautiful but terrifying force! I'd run out of there so fast.

Aoife.Troxel said...

I had a dream like that once. Except the sea caught me and the car.

Kim Ayres said...

Allen - that's right - it's there for people who might get caught by the tide to wait it out until it becomes safe again :)

Guyana-Gyal - it's because it's so flat it's deceptive - the tide can seem a long way out and then is upon you before you know it.

Aoife - if it was a Hollywood movie then the sea would be coming in like a tsunami, catching up on the car and just when it was about to be swallowed up, the car would come shooting out of the foam! :)

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