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  • Chris Jones

Days 11 & 12, Fri 13th, Sat 14th Jan - Hornsea to Bridlington

I set out with a plan to remain on the beach all day, the sun was shining, a short walk to the promenade and I was feeling refreshed after a good nights sleep, in a bed. Within a few minutes a very nice man came out of the coastguard hut to give me the low down on todays tide times, we had a good chat and he educated me about neap and spring tides. Well who knew, probably most of you but I didn't or if I did I had completely forgotten. Today was a neap tide and high tide was at 8.20, as it was now 9.30, there was enough exposed beach to walk on, it was going to be a good day.

I knew it was 14-15 miles to Bridlington and i felt sure I would get there by mid afternoon as I was feeling good. Not much to report as i had the beach to myself for most of the day, the odd good morning, beautiful day to passing dog walkers. I had a sit on the beach for half an hour for some lunch and to sort my feet out, and then back on it.

Then, as the afternoon passed, my energy levels dropped, the batteries were running down and I knew I wasn't going to get to Bridlington after all, at just after 11 miles I'd had enough. I found a quiet spot and sat on a bench for an hour just looking out to sea and enjoying the last of the sun on my back. I'd found a nice piece of grass up a bank from the beach but typically, as it came time to pitch the tent, the wind picked up and I realised I was very exposed, the group of wind turbines behind me should have given me a clue it might be a windy spot !!! So, I went down onto the beach and walked a bit further to find a spot to pitch. I'd never slept on the beach before, yet alone on a beach I'd never been on and in January, however, I knew the tides times, I knew it was a neap tide and I could see where the last high tide had reached so, what could possibly go wrong ? I pitched up, got in and prepared my evening meal but remained dressed with most of my kit still packed. At about ten past eight I got out of the tent, just to check exactly how high the water was coming up the beach. I was fine, it was still 4-5 meters away and at twenty past eight, at high tide, it stopped and slowly started receding.

I managed my facebook update but that was it, I was asleep for 9 o'clock. I knew there was a storm coming through in the early hours and it didn't disappoint, the wind battered the tent and it absolutely chucked it down. Naturally it woke me up with a start but I'd already experienced a heavy storm in this tent so I rolled over and although I woke a good few more times, I had a reasonable rest.

I woke at about 7 o'clock and it was still raining. So, a game of chicken commenced, how long could I, should I, stay in bed ? I didn't want to pack up in the rain but equally I didn't want to outstay my welcome as the tide was coming in. Following the storm in the night the sea did sound quite angry and it was getting louder and louder as it got closer. I knew it was a neap tide yesterday and my new understanding that after the 7 days of a neap time, the spring tide would return, I didn't know where we were in the 7 day cycle !!! It would be just my luck that one way or the other, I'd be having a wet start to the day...

My timing was good, I'd packed everything away and lay in the tent until about 8 o'clock when the rain died out. All packed up and way in 15 minutes and a 3 mile mile walk into Bridlington. I knew after a mile or so, I needed a day off. The first cafe for a nice big fry up, checked into a Premier Inn, other hotels/B'n'B's were available but to be honest, you know what you're getting in a Prem, a good firm bed, decent sized bath and a large room to sort my kit out.

The bright lights, bars and attractions of Bridlington were waiting but they'd have to wait for another day. After a bath and a lay on the bed for an hour, I had a walk around town, a couple of pints and some dinner and I was in bed for just after 7pm, I needed sleep, and lots of it.....

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