C25 Arc 3: a Halcyon day on Halfway Reach, Crossness (Dec B)

This day in mid December was the second time I had encountered slack water at high tide with no wind on this stretch of the Thames estuary (see Sept 3 post), but these, more appropriately, are the halcyon days – the seven days in winter when storms never occur. In Greek mythology Alcyone (as a kingfisher) laid her eggs and made her nest on the beach on the days around the winter solstice, during which her father Aeolus, god of wind, restrained and calmed the Aegean sea so she could do so in safety.

I had my sandwich watching the shoveler, mallard, gulls and a curlew sway and shuffle, dozing for the most part. We are just downstream of the Crossness Southern Outfall Works. No raw effluent these days, but no lunch for them either, since there was no exposed mudflat on which to graze.

I rode from Stratford to Dartford taking some good shots on this clear crisp day, first at the Olympic site, then Woolwich Ferry, along this intriguing stretch of the estuary, and finally up the Darent and Cray estuaries. Stand by for a Christmas post in a day or two…

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