early riders

They must be the Island’s number one icon, sitting white and proud off the western tip, with the lighthouse marking their end. I’ve been visiting the Needles since we moved across the water, but have never got closer than the top of the cliff.

Needles and LighthouseYesterday morning however, we were offered the chance of a rapid rib ride around the bay for an up close and personal view. The water was as still as a mill pond, combining with early light to suffuse the scene with unexpected calm.

island cliffs

We went right through the stacks, sheltering eyes to spot the variety of birds enjoying the placid conditions. We wove around, seeing the lighthouse from such a variety of angles compared to the static, distant scenes of previous visits.

Needles and lighthouse

My highlight was away from the Needles and round in Scratchell’s Bay though. It was high tide and we were directly below the towering cliffs of West High Down. They loomed so large, with helpful stripes of grey to indicate the geological turmoil deep time had played upon them. It was slightly disconcerting to have such a weight of white rock directly above.

Chalk cliffs looking up

A wonderful way to start the weekend. Thank you Needles Pleasure Cruise, it certainly lived up to name!

From the boat

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