Thursday 22 June 2017

Summer solstice

Mike and I decided to spend the summer solstice on our favourite beach, Ross Back Sands. The plan was simple, a walk in the Cheviots before heading for the beach. Having a hospital appointment in the morning meant a later start than normal. It was a straightforward walk starting in the Harthope valley up to Langlee Crags and back. A slight delay when a chappy took a purler over the handlebars of his bike.
A pleasant walk up the hill above the valley, chivied by a blustery wind. A wander around Langlee crags and a leisurely stop for lunch.
 There are several rocky outcrops in the area. A fascinating geological feature.
It was difficult to decide which one was actually the highest point, thus we visited them all.

We took a slightly circular route back to the car, passing through a herd of quite placid cows.
It was then on to Ross Back Sands. A bivi on the beach, is a wee bit different from the average bivi. A nylon tarp is still used However, anchoring in fine sand is a more difficult proposition. Currently I have been using a selection of sixteen inch, home made wooden stakes. The downside is that they are darned heavy. Extra guylines are also needed, beaches can be windy.

Using a gull wing tarp and the camo basha groundsheet as an extra side panel to protect from the wind.

We usually carry in at least six litres of water. For cooking a trangia is the best option. The snag is that they are bulky and not that light. Also added is a half litre of fuel. All in all, a fair bit of extra weight. Recently I laid hands on a stack of large bamboo poles. The idea is to split them, cut them in to eighteen inch lengths and use them as pegs.
Was awake before four in the morning and watched the gradual breaking of the new day. Even Mike was awake for the solstice morning!
A slightly slanted photo of the new day.
Mike went back to sleep. Unable to sleep, I went for a walk up the beach,
Later that morning we heard the ominous rumble of thunder. Snug under the tarp we watched the lightning and heavy rain as the storm passed through.
With the weather clearing, Mike went for a splash around in the sea. All I managed was a paddle. We where treated to seeing seals feeding and playing in the shallows. Arctic turns were very much in evidence.
All in all a lovely walk and beach bivi.


  1. What a great idea, I'll have to put that in my diary for next year to do a wild camp or bivvy on the solstice. Beautiful beach and sunrise

  2. Ross Back Sands is special Andy, it never gets crowded.

  3. Nice one Dawn - it looks like you had an ok, er, dawn. Better than my dark & dismal Derbyshire daybreak.

  4. Great post Dawn thank you

  5. JJ you will have to come north one day to experience a beach bivi. Indeed we had an ok dawn!
    Thank you Anon.

  6. That sunrise looked gorgeous!