We encountered almost every form of weather while we were in the Kent Group of islands. After strong icy winds through our first three days on Erith Island conditions calmed down (in comparison) – once ashore and out of the wind, it was t-shirt weather. On Monday 28 October 2019, M, Small DB and I walked across Erith Island from West Cove to Wallabi Cove – a very easy straightforward walk with park-like grasses and only a gentle incline.
Over on the actual beach there were probably more rocks than sand – big, small, smooth, rough – some impossibly rounded, looking as if they’d escaped from a landscaped garden somewhere. Rubbish count? Three Peppa Pig empty helium balloons , a couple of single use water bottles, nylon rope and various plastic bottle caps. Not great, but could’ve been worse.
We clambered around admiring the driftwood and surprising the fat little skinks that had been sunning themselves. After the warmth of the sun on our walk over, it was time to put coats back on because the wind was coming onshore.
Incidentally, we need to find out the name of these bushes – they are the new favourite of Small DB and Bunny. (Yes, environmental bush-crushing vandals both of them.)
M wanted to show us the cliffs. The cliffs. Almost stomach-droppingly high. Almost. Because heights, unlike balloons, are not something that really bother me.
From the top of the cliffs we could see Dover Island, the beginning of the Swashway and down to South West Isle – which looks far bigger than the map seems to indicate.
Small DB had not worn long trousers and struggled walking through the spiky grasses that covered the ground further up the cliffs. We abandoned that idea and wended our way back, with scratched ankles, to where the grasses thinned out. Stopped and snacked. Small DB was fading… we coaxed her and the recalcitrant Bunny back up the hill to flatter ground, where she perked up and found us pathways through the undergrowth.
Back on the beach, with feathers in Small DB’s backpack and stuck in my hair, we went back up to say goodbye to the hut, and write in the visitor’s book. One of my wishes is to return to Erith Island during February one year, have the boat at anchor and spend the majority of my time swimming and reading – with occasional rock scrambles.