Hilbre Island is in the River Dee estuary, just off the Wirral peninsular and in order to be stranded here the sea must be at high tide. I stayed at Liverpool YHA for two nights, and during my one full day there, high tide in the area was at 7:31am and around 8:00pm.
It’s a two mile walk out to Hilbre Island, passing two smaller islands on the way – Little Eye and Middle Eye. The local authorities suggest not leaving the main land any less than three hours before high tide, for the walk to the island, and not leaving the island until three hours after high tide.
The suggested route, was to walk from the seaside village of West Kirby, about 13 miles from the Liverpool hostel. My mode of transport was by bike, so, with all this in mind, to achieve my mission, I had to be leaving the hostel either very early, or arriving back very late.
I opted for the former. The first photo is as I’m cycling through the Queensway River Mersey Tunnel. Only a handful of motorists passed me in the ten minutes it took me to cycle through. One was a Land Rover police vehicle, slowing right down as it passed me with a couple of suspicious looking cops eyeing me, maybe wondering what I was doing cycling under the river at 3:00am with no lights!
At around 4:15am I reached West Kirby. I locked my bike up and stood gazing out at the islands in the distance. A flyer was flapping about in the wind on the side of a phone box, and a chain clanged a slow beat on the side of a flag pole. Other than this there was total silence – no sea gulls; nothing. It was so eerie
Soon, I began my march across the sand, feeling anxious and afraid that on this one morning, due to some weird weather system, the tide would be drawn in ultra fast and swallow me up, and I would drown, and no one would ever know what happened to me.
Of course this didn’t happen. The tide came in as normal and I reached Hilbre safely. Below, is Middle Eye from Hilbre Island.
I was totally on my own and I had hours to explore. I love this :-)
The few scattered buildings appeared to be empty holiday shelters, or derelict. the mainland is on the horizon and the sea is slowly coming in on the left.
The peacefulness of early morning….
According to this mornings tidal forecast, this isn’t one of the highest tides, but I certainly felt stranded! This is Middle Eye with the tide high.
I remembered I have a timer on my camera, so after a frustrating few minutes of trying to balance the camera level, and repeatedly running backwards and forwards to pose, I finally got a shot I liked :-)
I kept seeing a seal bobbing it’s head in and out the water throughout the morning.
The carcass of a fish suddenly reminded me of the story of Robinson Crusoe!
And back to the mainland (looking back out at the islands)