It started out so well. Wall to wall sunshine, not quite as blisteringly hot as the UK but lovely none the same, with a very slight breeze. I wore a light t-shirt and walking trousers and armed with sun lotion and an assortment of refreshments I set out on my evening walk.
As I reached the old breakwater in Port Erin where the men were fishing, I noticed some wispy clouds stretched out over the sea and a little mist fluffing in and out intermittently over Milner Tower.
I set out on the coast path behind the marine biological station above which some bright orange tortoiseshell butterflies were poking their noses into the limestone wall, dipping in and out the length of the wall.
Up and over the short climb taking me level with Nigel Mansell’s former property, I stopped to watch the misty clouds building up over the ocean, as the sunlight became dimmed and disappeared only to reappear seconds later.
Looking back, I could see the cotton wool clouds coating Bradda and closer to hand some dark grey clouds were looming to the west. As the wind gathered, I wondered if it might rain given the thunder and lightening forecast for the UK. I was feeling very weary today; my legs were heavy and every step a difficult plod – don’t ask me why – and I considered whether to call it a very short walk and return home, but as you know I rarely give in so on I went, but not before I spent a good few minutes watching a young seagull insistently complain to its mum that all was not well with the world.
Shortly after this I was engulfed in cloud, which presented a very mystical appearance on the land reminiscent of many a Jane Austen novel. I could have been anywhere as the sea and the cliffs were no longer visible; it was like walking on a path in the Derbyshire Peak District or across the North York Moors in the autumn. The colours were wonderful, the purple of the heather and the yellow of the wood sage blended perfectly with the light grey background.
As I neared our ‘Valley of the Rocks” I could hear an awful racket going on but could not see a thing. Climbing the stile I saw the cause of all the fracas – a flock of sheep yelling at each other. They soon moved as I scampered down the path and they took flight over the hill.
Reaching the Sound was a strange encounter as not only could I not see The Calf Of Man, neither could I even see Kitterlands. I could barely even see the visitor centre. It was as if I had never been here before. It was remarkably peaceful and beautiful. And then out of the mist came a ghostly boat with a pinpoint light atop that never quite came into focus. Closer to the shore, a sole seal displayed for me as I ate my refreshments. I was glad I had brought a fleece and a waterproof – it was chilly sitting there.
So back home along the road to Cregneash provided less interest. I met a lone foreign traveller walking down to the Sound and as I bade him farewell I wished the sun would break through the clouds for him as I feared he might not relish the view when he arrived otherwise.
An interesting evening. I wonder if I will ever see the Sound quite like that every again?