Friday, 25 July 2014

Those magnificent volunteers from the RNLI

As my watch ticked towards six o'clock, we eased off from the pontoon, out through the twin piers and into the open sea.

With the glorious, golden sandstone, layer-cake cliffs of West Bay behind us...
...we tore off into a cloudburst sunset and headed for Lyme.
And then we saw them. A mercury sea, calm as anything, and a strange sky turned from silver to scarlet as the Red Arrows roared overhead, giving a full-on aerobatic display to the good people of Lyme Regis.
In the bay, other boats like ours but with better timekeepers as skippers, had turned off their engines to watch the drama in the skies overhead.
At this time of year, there is something of a pilgrimage to Lyme for the annual lifeboat week which raises money for the RNLI, one of the most worthy causes around these parts. Tonight, the town would be packed to the gunnels but here, in these still waters and from this angle, the experience was weird, surreal.

They whirled, they spiralled, they parted. In a great arrow formation they commanded the skies, breaking the Creation-type cloud formation into something equally dramatic.

And then, silence. They were gone. And the boats around us started up their engines and headed for home, safe in the knowledge that if they were ever in trouble, the volunteers from the RNLI would not hesitate to come to the rescue.

Heroes all.

And all that was left after the Red Arrows flew off into the sunset was a crimson tide and and a stunning red sky.
Back towards West Bay, and the boats were coming in to a jam-packed harbour, where more fundraising was going on for the RNLI at the annual raft race.
And, safely moored in our little boat, we sat and watched the world go by, just like the passengers on the Jurassic Coaster bus.
That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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