A lack of shipwrecks and beer in Fleetwood
I hear the words ‘Shipwreck Walk’ and my mind flows rapidly and exuberantly through tragedy, romance and death. And everyone likes romance, tragedy and death.
It is a walk starting in Fleetwood, guided by and funding the RNLI through the treacherous Morecambe Bay and my main concern is when all the earnest men in woolly jumpers are staring earnestly at the barnacled ribs of ancient galleons I might seem ignorant over whether it is from the 16th or 17th century as they tramp over the treasure chests peeping out which somehow only I can see and thus get the acclaim and oh the huge amounts of money somehow for finding.
What I was not expecting was no shipwrecks. And a sellout of crisps in the middle of the sea.
Fleetwood is out in force and they are determined to have a good time. I see few furrowed brows looking at antiquated maps but there are a lot of cans and I am the only one with a rucksack. This makes me embarrassed and I hope for a sudden squall so I can be all resourceful before realising there is only cardigans and a hideous brown banana in the rucksack. Most people here look like they would chirpily die before wearing a somewhat bobbly Bay Trading cardigan.
We walk out into the bay, always an exciting experience when knowing of the ‘treacherous quicksand’ and towards a distant lighthouse. Upon arrival it is Escheresque in its bold hold onto existence, its wooden shackles snapped in so many places it seems impossible it is still standing. Underneath its shadow, a folk duo is suprisisingly playing and crisps and kit Kats are being sold but have sold out by the time we fight over whether with our solitary gold coin to have a packet of Walkers cheese and onion crisps or a Kit Kat.
I see brown skeletal ribs of long sunk ships poking enticingly out of the sucking sucking sand. I cannot wait to touch them and imagine Tragedy.
But when the walk continues, it snakes merrily back to the starting point. The route has changed to encompass no shipwrecks. I was not aware of this and am saddened but nobody else seems to care. This is an impromptu party in the sand and the hiss of opening cans of beers fills me with envy. I have only water and sensible footwear, dammit. It is an unusual situation for me to be in and I resolve to carry beer and crisps with me at all times. Just in case.
The earnest men with maps and books do not exist, the shipwrecks remain a mirage but I have walked across the bay, dodged quicksand, touched the fragments of a lighthouse and soon I will find that the North Euston Pub does a large house red for three quid something.
And it will have been a good day.