Last year I managed to capture the first sunrise of 2015. This new year I wanted to go one better, I wanted to captured the last sunset of 2015 and the first sunrise of 2016. The big question was – would the weather play ball and deliver some clear skies?

We were staying with my sister-in-law over the Christmas holidays in Nacton village, just outside Ipswich. This is only a short drive from Nacton Shores.

This is a stretch of the River Orwell I used to explore regularly as a child but to be honest I hadn’t visited it in years. I was curious to see if it had changed at all. From my many sunrise and sunset adventures I knew that the sun would set on the other side of the river so this would be perfect for capturing a few sunset shots.

As I arrived at the shore I could see that not a lot had changed. Memories of my youth came flooding back. Walking barefoot between the patches of sand and mud searching for treasure – shells, unusual looking stones and even a fossil here and there. Watching the wading birds searching the waters edge with their bills. Fond memories indeed.

This area of the Suffolk coast is designated an AONB and for good reason. It’s very easy to take for granted landscapes and scenes you’ve known all your life but having not visited this particular spot for many years I could experience it again with fresh eyes.

One of the obvious differences were a number of fallen trees on the shoreline. Some of them must have watched the traffic sailing up and down the river for more than a hundred years before succumbing to the rigors of time and coastal erosion.

Evidence of recent stormy times lay all around too. None more obvious than the weather beaten wreck of a small boat keeping one of the fallen trees company on the shoreline.

I was intrigued by the hole ripped in the stern of the boat. Was this where the rudder and mounting would have been? Had an outboard motor once hung from here before being ripped from its mounts in the storm that finally laid this small vessel to rest?

Who knows!

It did however offer me an interesting photo opportunity.

I thought it would be quite fun to use the hole as a frame and take some pics of the fallen tree and the shoreline from inside the upturned hull. Well that was easier said than done! I just managed to squeeze inside. Just. The tide was coming in quite quickly so I didn’t have much time to frame the shot.

As I scrambled out I couldn’t help smiling as I imagined what a passing family walking by might think seeing this rather disheveled looking  chap clambering out from under the wreck!

As I continued on my walk I came across some rather seasonal flotsam or jetsam. Had this discarded golden bauble once decorated the cabin of a passing ship or had it been lost during a wild Christmas party near the shore upstream? We’ll never know. It didn’t stay there though as I picked it up to dispose of it properly later.

Well, the sun didn’t disappoint as it sunk below the horizon on the opposite shore, casting wonderful shadows and golden light all around as it said goodbye to 2015.

It was time for me to leave and get ready for the evenings festivities…in fancy dress!

Would I resist the temptation of cold beer and bubbles? Would the skies remain clear for the morning? Read part 2 of this blog update to find out!