My home is by the sea.

'It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist: the threat is rather to life itself...'
- Rachel Carson

There is something so incredibly mesmerising and homely about the coast, the smell of the sea air, the seaweed, the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks, the call of the gulls whilst they catch the wind currents, and the serenity of being able to enjoy this knowing that there isn't another person for miles. Before this weekend I hadn't really been to the coastline for quite some time, the downside to living inland and being near a big city, and working in a sector that doesn't really warrant coastal visit. Truth be told I have had ample opportunity to go, maybe a quick drive to north Wales or somewhere in Lancashire (I just mean to avoid Blackpool at all costs!), but for whatever reason I just haven’t; “must try harder” springs to mind. 

I just can’t describe the overwhelming feeling of belonging when I first set eyes on the sea on my drive to Wales, I did a little excited wiggle in the car before realising I had no one to share my excitement with except for Ben Howard (unfortunately only on CD). Why had it been so long? Yes, I’d been by the sea on my last cruise but there’s something so perfectly dramatic about the UK coastline that you just can’t find anywhere else. The positivity that washed over me, it was like I’d returned home, and I just wanted to grasp hold of it for as long as I could.

A couple of hours later I arrived at Marloes, a little village in Pembrokeshire, south Wales. The remoteness (and sunshine) was incredibly inviting, it had been a long time since I'd been away from a phone signal and trusty 3G, in fact it was quite liberating to know I wouldn't have contact with the outside world for for a long weekend. As soon as I saw my friends from my MSc course I felt like my old self again. I felt bubbly, excitable, happy, eager to catch up with them, and I don't think I've ever felt so motivated to pursue my marine conservation dreams after we all had a catch up. I guess my passion for the sea had drifted a little, I didn't know where I was heading, I was just a bit like driftwood - coming and going with the ebb and flow of the tide, I didn't really have a direction and I didn't have the steam to put me in a place I wanted to be in... Granted, I've still not got a direction, but I've mustered up some of that fire to really push myself. I think it was the combination of friends, good food, wine, walking, rum (all hail Kraken Rum), and being back by the sea that made me feel so good about this, about life, about my dreams. Smiles all around.

The weekend was absolutely jam packed with things to do. We were so incredibly lucky with the weather that we had to get out and enjoy it whilst it lasted (although admittedly a few afternoons were on the lazy side, cooped up with a glass of wine and our books, but that was after the majority of people had gone home). The first day was spent having a good walk around Marloes and the surrounding coastline. It must have been about 6 or 7 miles that we walked, up to one beach, around the headland, views of Skomer, and down to Marloes Sands where a few braved the sea (I kept my feet firmly on the sand.. this time). What I did find interesting (and such a good idea) was by the jetty where you'd pick up the ferry to Skomer, there was a bit of piping (above right) which encouraged fishermen to put their old lines and hooks in, debris prevention. It made me smile anyway. 

The jetty towards Skomer
The evening was spent in such a sophisticated manner, wine was sipped and homemade vegan curry devoured, before continuing a bit of a drinking session in front of Harry Potter. Us marine biologists know how it's done after all. The next day was incredible, a trip to Skomer Island. Puffins on the water, some with sandeels, porpoise spotting, seal spotting, seagull dodging, Manx Shearwater chick holding (adorable!), buzzard-saving (granted, not us, but we observed), tea and scones, and then the most incredible beach BBQ afterwards on Marloes Sands where we ate and drank plenty, watched the most beautiful sunset, and attempted to watch the Perseid meteor shower. It was a little cloudy to begin with but once it cleared we caught a few meteors shooting across the night sky.

A view from Skomer
Sunset on Marloes Sands
People gradually started leaving from the next day onwards. Wanting to make the most of the time in Wales we didn't hold back on seeing more places. St Brides bay which was the most beautiful contrast of red rock and blue sea was a lovely little spot, I even braved the sea in a bikini (and immediately regretted it when I couldn't stop shivering), and then the last day was spent in Tenby which, from the below picture, reminded me somewhat of Plymouth, and I had a yearning to go back...
It really was the most wonderful trip with some incredible people, but now I'm just feeling a little lost. Returning back to Warrington is all fair and well but I want to be beside the sea, I want the salt air, the seabirds, the lights on the sound as I used to observe in Plymouth so many times. I want to be out there, creating memories, experiences, having adventures, and doing every little bit I can to conserve marine life. I guess I never really made the connection between happiness and the sea, when I was in York - a land-locked city - I was learning about the ocean but rarely got the chance to see it, whereas in Plymouth I had the opportunity to go down to the coast whenever I pleased, come rain or shine I was there lapping up its beauty.

Wherever I go I know I need to be on the coast, where my heart thrives to be. Home is where the heart is, my home is by the sea.

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  1. I love your new blog! You write with such eloquence, please keep this one up!

    1. Thank you so much sweetie :) I intend to! x



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