Big tide, long day, full sun

After weeks of cool, wet, windy weather, today it was all change. The transformation came on a big tide day, so I took the opportunity to head to Beauport with my father to clamber around the rocks to Fiquet.

Facing the sun, it was one of those days when the brightness of the pale sky on the horizon blended in to the shining sea, so the horizon was a blur of light. But looking away from the direction of the sun, the visibility was astounding; as well as the long, low jagged teeth of the Minquiers reef, the distant coast of France was also clearly visible beyond.

Light buoy, with the Minquiers reef on the horizon, and beyond that the grey smudge of the North Brittany coast. Also visible just behind the buoy are the currents that ruffle the water when the tide is running on a big-tide day

Guarding the western edge of the bay are a series of granite towers, with one rock in particular balanced on top of a pinnacle – often used for “tombstoning” in the summer. Unless the tide is very low it’s not possible to get around the bottom of these towers, but today we could manage it with relative ease.

Beauport’s granite pillars
Dr John Renouf (my father, aged 84) at the base of the pillars

Just around the corner from Beauport is an area of stunning rock formations, caves, and stacks. The slack water of low tide was impossibly calm and clear.

Slack water, the sea stack of Grosse Tête in the background

Dolerite dykes in the granite have formed lines of weakness in the cliffs, and these have been attacked by the sea, creating narrow caves.

Dyke-cave: the dyke is the dark, vertical line in the upper centre of the photo. Water leaching through the rock has coated the cave walls in various minerals and algal growths. The colours are remarkable.
Spectacular mineral secretions on the cave wall

Finally we arrived at the Eastern edge of Fiquet – a rock and pebble beach that is among my favourite stretches of Jersey coastline. The tide was on the turn, and I would have loved to stay and watch it fill the bay, but we were out of time.

Fiquet’s wave cut platform

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