Loch Ness and the Bassenthwaite Eachy
In the summer of 1973, Rudolf Staveness and I went on a roundtrip of Scotland, Wales and England in my 1954 MG TF. We were studying English at the University of Bergen in 1973/4.
We had started our journey in Newcastle, on to Edinburgh, through the Highlands to Inverness. Someone on the other side of the Ness riverbank was playing a bagpipe while we rested on the grass. In our best Scottish mood we camped at Urquhart next to a Transit van used by an ongoing monster search. At Urquhart castle ruins we took our photos of the Loch Ness Monster's favourite haunt.
In this slide double exposure I am at Urquhuart beside the Transit van,
with probably Hyde Park, London on the other layer.
While the hunt was on
Urquhuart Castle Ruin
After our visit to the Loch Ness Monster Museum at Fort William we were quite finished with the idea of a monster, but intrigued by the folklore around the lake.
We went on through Glasgow and down to Hadrian's Wall, east of Carlisle. Our discussions had turned to Roman England. We were looking ahead to Mount Snowdon, Wordsworth country and Lake Windermere and its speed records. I mention this because we were absolutely not under the influence of the Monster any more. As students we were quite leftist politically and coming from the west coast of Norway we were used to seabirds; the different small whale fish coming up for air and inland lakes where the "fish and fowl were jumping".
This is my background to why I found that animal on Bassenthwaite Lake so startling.
It was the speed under water and the unusual shape that caught my attention. It was not a duck-like bird with its body floating on the water. It was a neck. An otter would have displayed more of a body, this was a long neck. The distance between the northernmost and southernmost position of the animal can be reconstructed on location as there is some farmlike landscape on the other shore that be used as guides. The blurry photo with trees only, was me trying to catch the swimmer unsuccessfully. I think I had to move a few meters to find the animal again.
The place we stopped was on our way from Cockermouth and just having turned south along the Lake, stopping in a resting bay along the road.
So that is the facts. I certainly felt the sight was unlike anything I had seen before.
The camera used was my Yashica Electro X and 135 mm lens. The film was Ilford's FP4, 125 ASA.
The Bassenthwaite Eachy