Sunday, 10 March 2013
Groatie Buckie hunting
Part of the beach we took our swim from has a fine selection of shells - which will eventually be ground down to form the dazzling white shell sand the area is known for. We spent a while bent double, searching through the shells for one particular, uncommon shell.
At last, Jennifer managed to find what we'd been searching for - a Northern Cowrie (Cyraea europaea). Known in the Orkney dialect as a "Groatie Buckie", finding one of these shells is considered to confer good luck and many folk have a small jar of them. This was the only one we managed to find, but we considered that we were lucky enough on this lovely day.
Slowly we packed our things back into the boats and set off once more....
On a blue sea beneath a blue sky. One of the islands we passed has the clear remains of an Iron Age hillfort on it. Our pace was leisurely, and after not very long paddling, another small piece of paddling paradise was spotted.
Second luncheon? Oh, go on then!