Ireland day 0065. Thursday 02 December 2021- Lowtide

Ireland day 0065. Thursday 02 December 2021- Lowtide
Today’s summary Walked out on the sand-flats of Malahide beach after a late breakfast.  then Val went to work in the evening and I walked out to Tesco to do the shopping, via Swords castle
Today’s weather Flat calm.   Cool and dry, occasional sun.  Heavy rain in evening.   About 6C
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Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
(Click top button to download a GPX of the afternoon beach walk-in black on the map – and the bottom button to download the evening walk to Swords castle-  in red):
Low tide beach
Rainy Swords

Today we did our very best not to fill our heads (and indeed this blog) with history.   By and large, we succeeded.   So  we had a rather domestic morning and while Val did the hoovering, I made the day’s meals.  Poached eggs on toast for breakfast, ham salad pittas for lunch, and lamb chops with roast potatoes, sprouts and carrots for dinner.   Not a hint of brown sludge in sight!

With the chores safely out of the way, we decided to use a couple of hours before Val had to head out to work, and to take advantage of the clear weather and walk down to the beach.  It seemed to be an exceptionally low tide today (Google said that it was 0.58m, but I don’t know if that is normal or not – in any case we had never seen so much beach in the 5 weeks we have been here), so we decided to explore the mudflats.

Since Google also convinced me that we had another hour before the tide turned, we thought it would be safe to stride out across the sand in pursuit of the distant – and still receding – shoreline.   It was a thoroughly enjoyable walk.   As the shore grew more distant in  our rear view mirrors, the skies seemed to become ever more expansive and the vistas opened right up.   The ebbing tide exposed giant mudflats which appeared to present a major dining opportunity for sea birds.   As well as the usual seagulls, we came across numerous  herons, oystercatchers and even curlews digging away in the mud in the hope of unearthing an easy lunch.

For the most part the sand was firm and the going was good, although as we approached the sea, it did begin to get a bit soggy.   Ever keen to avoid wet feet and the rather more alarming prospect of disappearing into a bottomless morass of sinking sand, we called it a day at that point and turned back towards for terra firma.

We were back in time to enjoy lunch before Val set off for work and once again I was delegated the shopping list.   Until we get a car, this is a walking and bussing expedition to the supermarket – which is fine, but I must admit it’s getting a bit tedious.   Tonight I’d planned a leisurely saunter along the coast path to Swords, then a quick look round the castle before popping down to Tesco to pick up the shopping before catching the bus back.   Unfortunately, the elements had other ideas and I soon realised that the earlier sunshine had been deceptive because I discovered as soon as I set off that it was pouring with rain.   Fortunately I had waterproofs so I donned then and carried on, confident in the knowledge that, according once again to Google, the rain would stop shortly.

Needless to say it didn’t.   So by the time I got to Swords castle I was soaked through and at that point I realised by studying the map as carefully as I should have before I set off, that it was still another 35 minutes walk to the shop.   So I abandoned any idea of looking at the castle and walked as quickly as  could to the supermarket.

I have to admit I have rarely been as relived to see the neon lights of Tesco as I was tonight, so soon I was (relatively) warm and dry inside.   It was of course still raining when I came out and I discovered by a bit more post hoc map-reading that the bus stop was a further 20 minutes walk away.   So waterproofs went back on and I trudged with my heavy load to to wait in the rain for the 102.   Eventually it turned up and now I am safely home enjoying a glass of €3.99 chateau Tesco and some peanuts and rather ruefully reminding myself that next time I go shopping, before I set off I should a) check the weather forecast closely and b) study the map a bit more carefully.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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A heron, a reflection, and a curlew gracing the mudflats in search of tasty morsels The tide seemed exceptionally low today, revealing sandbanks and beaches we’d never seen before
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This is the same channel which generates 2 megawatts at full flow.   Today when we were there, the tide was almost at its lowest ebb and about to turn, so the lights would probably be dimming Val heading off into the wide blue yonder, with Ireland’s Eye in the background
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Only time for a brief selfie before the tide comes in! Swords castle lit up for Christmas tonight.   Very pretty but very wet
The beach at this exceptionally low tide was bigger than we had ever seen it.   Ever up for a challenge, we thought we would see if we could walk right to the shoreline.   It was miles further than it seems and eventually we gave up about 500m offshore, as the sand seemed to be turning into a bit of a leg-swallowing quagmire, and we were aware that it was an awfully long way back to dry land if the tide suddenly came in.   The waterline was still about 100m away but according to google, the tide still had another 45 minutes to fall.


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