Hartland Point Fri 18th May 2012

Friday November 2nd 2012 by Duncan Smalley

Owing to almost non-existent surf at Croyde, Brian Wenlock, Steve Duckett, Dave Jones and Duncan Smalley (now known as ‘The 4 Amigos’) embarked on an inspiring and rarely attempted sea journey from Hartland Quay to the waterfalls at Speaks Mill Mouth on the border between North Devon and North Cornwall. In spite of a distinctly lukewarm if inexplicable response to Duncan’s guided tour of the architectural masterpieces of Westward Ho en route, the wow factor instantaneously returned as we crested the steep descent to the hotel on the Quay and its picturesque little harbour that provides access in all but the most ferocious of conditions. This stretch of coast affords a scintillating seascape of magnificently-folded cliff scenery, caves, waterfalls, stacks, arches and strands of secret pristine sandy coves. The lack of significant swell and a light offshore wind made possible a trip that few ever have the opportunity to attempt due to the forbidding, inaccessible nature of this coastline that is usually totally exposed to any swell and wind from the Atlantic with few if any escape points. Finding routes through winding channels, reading the effect of surging currents and viewing the constantly changing awe-inspiring scenery all made this a trip to remember but the exposure of a small stretch of sand in front of the 100ft waterfall provided the icing on the cake. As the tide retreated the small swell served up perfect glassy shoulders, with submerged rocks to test the more adventurous/crazy members of the group (Brian). All in all it was a brilliant experience that we hope to repeat next year.

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