Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Beaches of Sanday: Cata Sand

Of all the many fine beaches on Sanday, the most remarkable must be Cata Sand. A vast, shallow bowl with a narrow inlet, Cata Sand looks like a loch at high tide. At low tide, it is totally transformed.

Halfway across Cata Sand:


From Lady village, it is possible to walk towards the farm of Tresness on the other side of Cata Sand. The expanse of sand revealed at low tide contains millions upon millions of lugworm casts. Halfway across, the distant dunes - a landmark across the whole of the south coast of Sanday - approach. Look back, and you realise how much beach you have traversed already.

Looking Back:


Near the safety of the dunes tyre tracks mark the sand, driving around the edge of the bay in a big arc. Tresness is not accessible at high tide!

Scrambling up to the top of the dune reveals a breathtaking panorama, especially on an evening flooded with light and filled with wind. The big bay of Cata Sand appears on one side, the long surf of Newark Bay on the other, a thin strip of marram-knitted sand the only thing preventing Tresness from being an island.

Dune panorama:


When we arrived at Tresness we realised it had already taken us an hour to get this far. The broch of Wasso and chambered cairn at the very tip of the peninsula would have to wait: sunset was in an hour's time. We had better get back across the beach in daylight. I did not fancy crossing the sands in the dark and feeling the waters rising around our ankles and knees...

Towards Tresness:

1 comment:

blueskyscotland said...

Looks like you got great weather for your trip.