At high tide this is a vast stretch of wind-chopped sea. Small flocks of oystercatchers and turnstones skim across its surface as they wait for the spoils of low water and terns screech in the open sky before plunging into schools of small fish.
But now the estuary is empty, just acres of wet sand and silt remain. In the middle of this huge open space a woman lies recumbent in the afternoon sunshine. The last rivulets of brine silently flow past her beautiful wet body, every inch of her skin delicately textured with raised goosebumps. The sunlight and gentle breeze warmed her flesh and her salty skin became smooth.
That evening on my return journey, the tide was high once again. A lonely curlew gave its distinctive call as it flew inland to nest, and in the darkening gloom of dusk I saw movement out on the water. I focussed hard on the smooth curves amongst the small waves, and I saw a dark tail appear above the surface before the shape disappeared altogether. I can only assume it was a seal.