The North Sea. For me, the name itself conjures up swelling mounds of black water crested by foam and pockmarked by rain. It carroes none of the attraction of the Caribbean Sea, with its clear light light blue water scattered with shimmering sunlight, nor any of the mystery of, say the Sargasso Sea. No. This is a sea, and it's in the north. No mucking about.From Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly an excellent book about the shipping forecast. (No Amazon link, support your local bookshop). Mr Connelly's entertaining prose does the North Sea down (for entirely understandable reasons) and I feel I must defend it: I have sailed in the Caribbean Sea and you can keep it.
Today I walked between Port Mulgrave and Runswick Bay on 180 (ish) million year old jurassic shale. A fossil I recently picked up there is still baffling experts. With every other step I saw ammonites, belemnites, inoceramus, shapes in the rock I can't identify, many picked out in glittering fools gold. To my left the North Sea roared for the two hours of my beach walk. Today it was in grandiose gale force 8 mood, many a time it as flat as the Sargasso and as blue as the Mr Connelly's Caribbean. And we don't get hurricanes.