A lone cormorant fishes in the strong current - northern terns dive for herring further out. A stiff breeze keeps the black flies and mosquites down, but the deerflies are stronger and they are hunting for warm blood. These green-eyed flies inflict a nasty bite within a few seconds of landing. Once they find your scent, they are relentless.
The only way to get across the Broad River without getting wet is to walk across the railroad trestle. They pulled the tracks out in the early 1980's, and the train no longer runs, but the timber trestle still bridges the river. It serves as a footbridge and the young people use it as a diving platform. The spirit here is jumping or diving off the trestle into the river below.
The trestle is 3 metres above the surface of the river at high tide. The trestle is about a 25 metre walk across the river.
This wooden trestle links the white sand beach with the rocky forrested shore.
It divides the beach area from the clam flats and the lagoon - the place where the fresh and the salt water pool. The wetland where the cormorant, seagulls, black ducks and the great blue herron spend their days, rain or shine.
I'm sitting on the south bank of the Broad River at low tide. Here the Broad River meets the Atlantic Ocean at the end of a long white sand beach. The river water is reddish-brown, burgandy, as it pours into the deep blue sea. The darker fresh water spreads, staying on top. The salt water is heavier and today it is much colder.
I've crossed the river by walking across the railroad trestle. The train doesn't run anymore, bit the trestle still serves as a footbridge. It's still pretty solid, but there are more and more rotten timbers. In the summer, when the river is warmed by the sun, the young people love to jump or dive off the trestle, showing off their courage and creating a little excitement for themselves and their parents.
When the tide is low and the river is full, after rain, the water under the bridge is mostly fresh. Deep, dark and warm. When it's high tide the Atlantic fills the mouth of the river and then the salty river spills over into the lagoon behind the dunes. Yesterday there were shools of small silver fish in the river at high tide. I saw a cormorant diving for his dinner, repeatedly, sucessfully - more times than not. And there were lots of jellyfish just under the surface, floating up river into the lagoon. Dark lion's mane's, the size of dinner plates, with tentacles flowing like long hair at their sides and trailing behind.
Out beyond the mouth of the river, straight out in the ocean beyond the sandbars, about a dozen northern tern dive for herring in the deep blue sea. Their schrill cries pierce the wind. they speak from the mouth of the river. It's bright and clear. I can see the islands and the waves breaking over the rocks that interrupt the horizon line. I can hear the sound of the dry air meeting the sea.
In the river they're hard to spot. As colours go, they match the colour of the Broad River when the sun is high. They float with the current, first flowng up the river with the tide, then going back out to the sea when the river gains the upper hand as the ocean recedes. On a bright day the river is almost black and if you want to swim, you will have to swim without a fear of the lion's mane. You have to trust you won't get stung. The local people are fearless when it comes to jellyfish. The tourists, they stay on their towels or swim very close to the rivers edge.