We cycled to St Peter Port and caught the ferry to Herm. Many people are drawn to Herm because it is the picture postcard ideal of an island. Above the white sand beaches, brightly coloured flowers and tall New Zealand flax make it look tropical. But I had another goal in mind.
On the ferry trip over, more gleeful dolphins accompanied us, although Perran and Carenza and Will, sitting inside the boat, missed them. Once on Herm, there was little consultation as to what we should do. I set off marching purposefully and the others fell in line behind me. We were heading to the north east of the island, to Shell Bay where there was rumoured to be an extraordinary and compulsive array of shells.
When we got there, we did indeed find everything from massive common "otters" through to the tiniest cowries. Plus many shells which I had not seen before. Ever since childhood, I have had a weird compulsion to collect shells, without any thought of how to make use of them. They seem to me exquisitely beautiful and I derive visual pleasure from picking them out, then enjoy sorting and categorising them.
I have a tradition with Carenza that the first one of us to find a cowry on holiday gives it as a gift to the other. Today, our hands were overflowing with them.
Too soon, it was time for the last ferry and home. On the way back, Perran and Carenza who had previously missed the dolphins sat on the top deck in order to be sure of not missing them. Naturally, there were no dolphins this time.