It was an incredibly bright day with almost no clouds in the atmosphere, and the sky and sea were virtually the same shade of pale blue. The water glistened delicately in the sunlight which reflected off the features of the environment down at Shoreham Harbour. These are great conditions if you want to sunbathe, but no so great if you want to take photographs because the camera does not differentiate well between the various structures in the landscape. So John and I spent some time wandering around the grassy bank at the mouth of the River Adur, listening to the sound of children playing in the remains of a fort built over 150 years ago to defend the old trading port. There was a long jetty for fishing and flint stone walls strengthened the coastline. We watched the sail boats cruising gracefully out to sea and spotted an RNLI lifeboat station.
The doors were open and the bright orange boat was proudly displayed on the slipways, ready for action. It’s a new Tamar all-weather lifeboat with a top speed of 25 knots enabling the crew to reach its casualty quickly and has shock absorbing seats to help the crew be more comfortable (if that’s possible on a choppy sea in a search and rescue mission). The local community raised the funds necessary to knock down the old lifeboat station which was inadequate and prone to flooding and replace it with a modern facility that opened in 2010. The boat is named Enid, after the lady whose generous legacy funded a large portion of its £2.7million purchase price.
We also took a trip to the airfield and a stroll along the river. The airfield was busy that day and we spotted a few choppers and plenty of light aircraft with three-bladed propellers and the odd bi-plane. The tide was out so the river was not at its prettiest, with mostly mudflats and silt on view which looked like brown sludge. There were lots of pools of water where the seagulls gathered to bathe, ruffling their feathers and flapping around, making a right old song and dance of it. I flicked my tail at them disdain and trotted back to the car. John had a hankering for an ice-cream and I quite fancied a lick of it so we set off on our next mission to find an ice-cream van.