I had more of a spring in my step this morning – I think my spring is weather-dependent and today promised much better walking weather than the past two days.
On leaving the Pier it was mild, no wind and the sea was very calm. It was cloudy but the breaks allowed the sun to come through accentuating the horizon with a long shining silver line of light. I took a photo – I’ve taken far too many photos on my walks but there are so many beautiful or quirky sights I’ve wanted to capture and I know they’ll be brilliant mementos of this walk for me.
I’d walked this part of the trail before. Once, when Sue Korman and I originally tracked it and again with family, in memory of my step-son Christopher.
All the interesting places I passed, the Redoubt Fortress & Military Museum, the Treasure Island Venture Park and the Sailing Club, were closed. There was no sign of life in the hundreds of hotels stretching along the Grand Parade, but as I progressed along the promenade it became busier with people strolling, cycling, running and walking their dogs. Some dog owners really do look like their dogs – or their dogs look like them!
I passed the Martello Towers (there are four on this walk), originally built as small defensive forts during the Napoleonic War, and headed towards Sovereign Harbour, and continued through the Marina and across the locks.
I remember when I tracked this walk with Sue, we had to wait at the locks while a beautiful sailing boat went through on its way out of the marina. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end at the time as I realised how appropriate it was that Jack and I sponsored this section of the Trail in memory of Christopher who died of esophageal cancer the year before. We chose this section because Christopher had been supported so brilliantly by St Wilfrid’s Hospice and Eastbourne DGH.
Christopher loved sailing. He was a very competent sailor. In his twenties he’d obtained his Master Mariner’s Certificate and had sailed across the Atlantic. I felt that this was his way of saying hello. I thought of him today as I walked across the locks.
The walk continued on along the coast – I chose the option of not walking on the shingle, but through a caravan park and holiday homes.
It was a very pleasant walk, now in full sunshine as I reached Norman’s Bay Station where this section of the Trail ends.