|With my heart
in my mouth, I gunned the car and we sped diagonally
across the dune, the engine whining with the effort. The
next moment, we crested the top of the dune. In front of
us dunes converged from all angles, and just ahead lay a
yawning hollow -- a dead end in the dunes from which
wed never escape. I spun the steering wheel hard
right, the vehicle slithered on the edge of the abyss and
then the next second we were heading for another ridge,
and another unknown. Such is driving in the dune fields.
On the one hand, you need to drive fast enough for the
momentum of the car to carry you through the soft sand,
but drive too fast and youll probably rush over a blind
rise and straight into quicksand or a sink hole from
which there is no escape.
we had chosen the right route, and after a while, the dunes
opened up to reveal the wild Atlantic ocean rolling in
from the right. Now to get to the lagoon, we had to drive
for an hour along the beach, the dunes towering hundreds
of feet to our left and the sea washing the shore to our
right just feet away. This was a journey only possible at
low tide, for at high tide the sea washes right up
against the dunes. We could now only pray that wed
got our timing right and that wed not get
hopelessly stuck in the soft wet beach sand.
|That trip to
Sandwich harbour, a drive into the unknown, was one of
the highlights. In fact the greatest volume recorded was
over 11,000 cm/sec, more than any other waterfall in the
world, including Niagara!
Over the years a number of people have been swept to their deaths over the waterfall or the slippery, steep-sided granite walls. On occasion, police helicopters venture down into the gorge to look for bodies. However, only one pilot of a light aircraft is ever allowed to enter the narrow steep sided gorge in his high wing Cessna 172. We flew with him down the gorge to film the waterfall. It was the first time hed ever ventured over the waterfall and down into the gorge. Normally he flew up river towards and over the waterfall. We flew just 50 feet above the river before plunging over the waterfall and diving down into the gorge. It was unbelievable seeing the walls of the canyon flash by so closely. One moment we were level, the next we were banking steeply to turn a corner. Being a pilot, I understood the concentration needed, and marveled at the level of skill of our pilot. I couldnt wait to see the rushes when I returned to the UK.