The CHERISH team have just spent a few days on Bardsey Island, examining the coastline. On a beautiful sunny day I and a fellow artist went to see where they had been working. The sea sparkled in the distance as we prepared to leave the tip of the Llyn peninsula.
The tractor in the foreground is the one used to launch our tiny boat into the sea. The day was perfect for sailing across, although the twenty minute trip was a little choppy on the way out. There seemed to be birds everywhere, and in particular guillemots, razorbills and puffins.
Once on the island the views were amazing. There was a light breeze and the sound of sheep from the field in the distance. Swallows chattered enthusiastically in the sunshine, perching on the stone wall to tell us all about it.
Both this photo and the one below show quite clearly how erosion is drastically affecting the shape of the island. One day the lighthouse will end up on a tiny island of its own. It’s a square lighthouse, a shape that seemed a little incongruous in that environment, but it’s a vertical in the landscape and that’s good enough for me.
Out in the water, a group of fifty or sixty grey seals preened themselves on the rocks in the warm sun, snorting and grumbling. They were just off the beach in the bay shown in the photo above. I tried to get an image of them but I was too far away. However I did get a recording of their ‘singing’. Various birds were caught on the recording as well. Oystercatchers in particular cried keenly into the wind.
The very shallow ‘cliff’ shows stratification clearly, something that always attracts me. I was intrigued by the collection of stones placed into a dip in the cliff face. Is there a particular meaning attached to this? Or is it what seals do when they get bored – a kind of seal ‘bored game’?
There were so many interesting rocks. I would have liked to have taken this one home with me, but I think it might have capsized the boat and made me extremely unpopular with the captain . . .
The photo above shows the damaging indentations that the hungry sea is creating as it bites into the flesh of the island.
Bardsey Island is a beautiful place. I had a bit of conversation with people who were staying there for a few days and I envied them. Peace. Stillness. The wind. The earth. The sea. The sky. And the beauty of the natural world.