Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Staithes Art Festival poster

Rob Shaw, artist in residence for the Staithes Art Gallery, and working from the chapel beside Dunsley (www.dunsleyinstaithes.co.uk) has just sent us the new poster, for the first Staithes Art Festival. It's going to be a fantastic weekend. We've offered Dunsley's front yard for an artwork installation, so the cottage will be part of the action. In fact, we still have availability for that weekend, September 21-24, and they are the only free dates for the whole month! We'd book it for ourselves, but we'll be away working... So far there are 45 artists and their work booked in to exhibit at, in and on various locations in the village. As well as unique artworks, Rob has organised live music, guided walks, shipwreck finds, workshops... truly a weekend not to be missed!

Staithes Lifeboat Weekend 2012

What a gorgeous weekend for the annual Staithes Lifeboat extravaganza. Duncan paddled his sea kayak to the Staithes harbour (see picture) from Runswick Bay with the Runswick Bay Sailing Club - he didn't realise it was a race, until he won it! Sadly, he was disqualified for not having sails... Staithes was packed with people having fun in the sun. York canoe club had a load of canoes for 'having a go' so the harbour was chaos with people playing in the boats. A great weekend as usual, and apparently the fireworks on the Saturday night were excellent. I missed all the action (I was working away) but will definitely be there next year. Dunsley's guests this week certainly chose the right time to visit.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Dunsley's Gate

Finally! Fanfare of trumpets, please... Duncan's new gate, complete with brass lifting knob, has been installed, to complete the front yard. It's been a year in the making, but it's worth it. Bead-blasted stainless steel to prevent rust and avoid repainting, custom-made, so strong that NASA can have it for a Mars landing if Dunsley ever didn't need it. The shape mirrors the railings between Dunsley (www.dunsleyinstaithes.co.uk) and the Chapel. I caught Duncan in the picture, in his kayak gear, looking rightly proud of his handiwork!

Sea Kayaking from Staithes

Well, what a wonderful weekend to launch a sea kayak from Staithes harbour, with a super-low tide due to the full moon. We paddled out of a nearly-empty harbour and turned left, to follow the cliffs toward Saltburn. Boulby Cliffs are the highest in England and looked absolutely spectacular, with the red striations picked out by the sun. The wildlife was incredible too: we got very close to 2 seals, paddled alongside a guillemot with a chick (first time we'd seen one up close), and watched the Fish Olympics! Three sea trout - each at least 60cm long - leaping vertically out of the sea in front of our bows, clearing the surface by at least four feet. We thought they were being chased by something even bigger, but our fishing friend Steve told us they were more likely dealing with sea lice in their gills, leaping up in order to crash down and flush them out. A big, confused swell meant we didn't go too far around the coast, and gave us an exciting surf back to the harbour. Fantastic fun all round.
These pics were taken in the harbour on our return: the tide was about half-in by this time, not quite enough to paddle up the river to take out by Dunsley (www.dunsleyinstaithes.co.uk), so we landed on the beach instead.