15:10 – The next landmark was the huge cliffs at Blackgang after a long stretch of low brown sandy coastline. Back in the nineties, Tushingham’s sail designer, Ken Black, owned a cottage on the edge at the top but he woke up one morning to find his sail loft precariously hanging half over the edge following a landslide. The house was not insured and ended up going over the edge a few years later; fortunately the family had evacuated at this point!
Along with the remains of Ken’s house, these cliffs also contain the bones of many dinosaurs and other ancient reptiles from millions of year ago and are notorious stomping grounds for fossil hunters and would be geologists. Blackgang Chine, also on top of the cliffs, is one of the island’s most popular theme parks and is also the oldest amusement park in the UK.
15:19 – We make it down to the southern tip of the island and pass the infamous St Catherine’s Lighthouse, where at last we are no longer being pounded by the wind and waves in the RIB. Niton is normally a place I shoot wave sailing and surfing in the winter but today it’s a rare treat to take in these breath-taking surroundings from the water.
Ross – “The wind was accelerating around the points so I just took my time and tried to relax. My legs were already quite tired, even rotating the cams was tricky sometimes. The current was strong along that stretch so I hugged close to the land. I could see rocks under me when I came on the inside at the lighthouse and the water was ripping away with the current.”